Prinn Panitchpakdi, a former deputy leader of the Democrat Party, has been sentenced to four years in jail for sexually assaulting a former party member.
The Bangkok South Criminal Court on Friday also ordered Mr Prinn to pay 2 million baht in compensation to Hathairat “Anna” Vidhyaphum. It was his third conviction in the past month.
Ms Hathairat took the rare step last year of going public with her allegations against the politician, as she said she wanted other victims to come forward.
She was the co-plaintiff along with public prosecutors in the case against Mr Prinn.
Mr Prinn was accused of luring Ms Hathairat to a condominium room in Wattana district of Bangkok on April 24, 2021, and using force to rape her.
Prosecutors asked for Mr Prinn to be punished under Sections 276 and 281 of the Criminal Court related to rape and indecent acts and demanded 45 million baht in compensation for physical, psychological and reputational damage to the victim.
The defendant denied the charges.
After examining the evidence and testimony, the court found the defendant guilty of the charges. It initially sentenced him to six years in jail. As his testimony was useful, the court commuted the jail term to four years.
The court said it fount the compensation demand too high. It ordered the defendant to pay 2 million baht plus interest of 5%, starting from the date the assault took place.
After the ruling, Mr Prinn was granted 200,000-baht bail by the court pending his appeal against the conviction.
Ms Hathairat is married to Tanat “Nat” Thanakitamnuay, a wealthy former Democrat Party member who quit and became a high-profile supporter of the pro-democracy protests in 2020. He lost an eye when one protest rally turned violent.
On Monday, the Criminal Court sentenced Mr Prinnn to two years in jail for sexually assaulting an underaged girl, while throwing out another similar case.
On Aug 10, the Criminal Court sentenced him to two years and eight months without suspension for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old student in 2021.
Mr Prinn is the son of Supachai Panitchpakdi, a former deputy prime minister and director-general of the World Trade Organization.