SAMUT PRAKAN - A ground crew member with a major airline has been arrested on a charge of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old male passenger in a restroom at Suvarnabhumi airport.
The 43-year-old man was taken into custody at a dormitory in Lat Krabang district of Bangkok at around 4pm on Saturday and brought to the Suvarnabhumi airport police station for questioning. He used a jacket to cover his head and refused to answer questions from reporters.
Pol Col Chakrapong Nuchphadung, superintendent of the station, said a 46-year-old woman had approached authorities on Wednesday to report that her son had been molested. The perpetrator was a ground crew member with an airline operating out of the terminal, she told police.
The incident took place around 6.40pm in a restroom located near Gate B8 of the domestic terminal.
The 15-year-old was travelling to see his mother in Krabi and had approached the man for assistance as he was travelling alone.
After issuing a boarding pass and directing the boy to wait for boarding, the man allegedly groped him and then convinced him that his baggage exceeded the weight limit. He told the boy to follow him into a restroom where he would inspect the luggage.
Once in the restroom, however, the suspect reportedly locked himself in a stall with the boy and blocked the exit, sexually assaulting him twice despite the victim’s protests.
According to the victim, the man threatened him about reporting the incident and made him wait while he left the restroom.
After revealing the attack to his family upon arriving in Krabi, the boy was taken to the Nua Klong police station, where authorities were able to collect DNA evidence that led to an arrest warrant being issued.
The suspect, Sukksasem Cherdchoo, admitted to having had sex with the boy but claimed the latter persuaded him to do so and offered no resistance, according to Pol Col Pongkasem Jaturongsak, investigation chief at the Suvarnabhumi police station.
He claimed he and the boy did not reach sexual climax because someone entered the restroom at the time.
He came to work as usual for the rest of the week but took leave on Saturday as he probably knew that the boy had filed a complaint, said Pol Col Pongkasem.
Police question Sukksasem Cherdchoo, 43, at the Suvarnabhumi airport police station on Saturday afternoon about an alleged sexual assault on a minor. (Photo: Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)