A police lieutenant colonel has been dismissed from the force after allegedly demanding 100,000 baht and sex from a woman motorist in exchange for dropping a charge of trespassing, after her car broke down one night in Saraburi province.
The woman also recounted a horrifying experience of a strange man coming to her aid on the dark road and then attempting to molest her, and her escape that led to the charge of unlawful entry.
The woman, whose name was withheld, sought help from social media advocate Kanthat Pongpaiboonvej, alias Kan Chompalang, who took her to file an initial complaint in Saraburi and then with deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn.
The woman said the harrowing events occurred in October last year in Saraburi province.
She was driving home at night when her car developed a problem and the battery went flat, stranding her alongside the road.
A man came to her rescue and towed her car to a house in an isolated street. He told her he would get a gallon container to buy petrol. As her mobile phone’s battery had also run out, she asked to borrow a charger. He told her to get it from inside a room. When she entered the room he immediately locked the door and tried to sexually molest her.
She evaded his clutches by asking to use the bathroom and then fled from there, climbing over a fence into the neighbouring property. The owner of that house then accused her of trespassing at night.
She was taken to a police station to face the trespassing charge. While there she filed a charge of sexual molestation against the owner of the first house, who had initially come to her rescue.
The woman said that after learning what had happened, the owner of the second house applied to withdraw the unlawful entry charge, but police said it was a criminal offence and the charge could not be dropped.
A police lieutenant colonel later approached her and said he could help. He allegedly demanded 100,000 baht in exchange for not taking the case to prosecutors. She did not have that much money and negotiated it down to 10,000 baht. The police officer then demanded to have sex with her, she said.
Mr Kanthat later took her to file an initial complaint with Sao Hai police station in Saraburi province against the accused officer.
Pol Maj Gen Wichit Boonchinnawutthikul, chief of Saraburi police, who also questioned the victim, said on Tuesday that the accused lieutenant colonel was a police inspector assigned to administrative work at Muang police station before being moved to assist at Sao Hai police station.
The accused officer was earlier the subject of an internal fact-finding inquiry for alleged fraud. The probe panel found him guilty and had recommended he be dismissed from the force. A decision was pending when the woman filed her complaint.
Pol Maj Gen Wichit promised justice for the woman and said no officer who caused damage to the police force would be protected .
Khaosod Online reported that Pol Maj Gen Wichit signed an order dismissing the accused officer after Pol Gen Surachate asked him to handle the case carefully and ensure justice for all sides.