Girl, 12, saved from foreign rape suspect

Girl, 12, saved from foreign rape suspect

Crime reportedly committed hours after attack on masseuse

An image taken from a closed-circuit camera in Khon Kaen province shows the suspect who allegedly raped and assaulted a woman and attempted to rape a girl on Monday. (Photo supplied by Chakrapan Natanri)
An image taken from a closed-circuit camera in Khon Kaen province shows the suspect who allegedly raped and assaulted a woman and attempted to rape a girl on Monday. (Photo supplied by Chakrapan Natanri)

KHON KAEN: A 12-year-old girl selling honey at a roadside stall in Ban Phai district has been rescued from a rape attempt allegedly by a foreign man wanted for the assault and rape of a masseuse at a traditional massage parlour on the same day.

The suspect, 37, was caught at a condominium on Soi Nana in Bangkok on Saturday.

A team of police led by Pol Lt Gen Yanyong Vet-osod, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 4, arrested the American suspect, identified only as Robert, at the condominium. He admitted to being the person wanted on the arrest warrant, Thai media reported.

He will later be handed over to Khon Kaen police.

The 32-year-old mother of the girl said the incident took place around 1pm on Monday on Mittraphap Road in Ban Phai district.

The woman said her family had two stalls selling honey on the road, about 500m apart. She was selling the products at the first stall while her husband tended to the other, helped by her daughter, who did not have to go to school due to Covid-19 restrictions.

After lunch on that day, the father went to a nearby roadside forest looking for wood to repair the stall, leaving his daughter alone.

The mother said during that time a foreign man riding a motorcycle with no licence plates had stopped near the stall and grabbed the collar of her shirt.

The girl shouted for help and he punched her in the mouth. At the time, a trailer lorry passed by and its driver, who saw the incident, honked the horn, prompting the man to flee on his bike, said the mother.

The girl said she was about to have a meal when she saw the foreign man riding past the stall. Shortly later, the man made a U-turn and approached her from the back of the shed.

According to her, he pulled the collar of her T-shirt to force her down. The man then grabbed her and said something in a foreign language. She shouted for help, but he did not stop and tried to kiss her. As she resisted, he punched her in the mouth, said the girl.

The man then unzipped his trousers and took out his penis. At that time, a lorry carrying an oil tank arrived and the driver saw the incident. He honked a horn and stopped to help her. The suspect then fled on his bike, said the girl.

Her mother took her to file a complaint with police at Ban Phai police station.

The girl identified him as the man who had allegedly assaulted and raped the masseuse in Muang district earlier in the day after police showed her his photos.

The 45-year-old woman, a native of Lop Buri, was working alone at the Dee Na traditional massage parlour on Rob Muang Road when the attack occurred on Monday morning. The man had allegedly assaulted and raped her before fleeing on his motorcycle, said police. 

The girl said she recognised him because he did not wear a face mask and still had on the same clothes he wore when he reportedly attacked the woman. His motorcycle also appeared to be the same as the one he used while fleeing the arrest after assaulting the woman.

Pol Lt Col Montri Supatam, deputy chief at Bang Phai police, said police were examining closed-circuit television cameras to find clues about the suspect after receiving the complaint from the girl's mother.

Psychologists and child welfare officials would join police in interrogating the girl on Monday, said Pol Lt Col Montri. After that, they would seek court approval to arrest the foreign suspect, he added.

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