Democrat denies sex pest claims
One of the Democrat Party's deputy leaders sensationally quit the party on Thurday while denying allegations he sexually harassed an 18-year-old student.
"I'm shocked," said Prinn Panitchpakdi as he quit in response to the claims. He was also head of the Democrat Party's economic team.
"I am not that kind of person. I'm innocent and deny every accusation," he said.
Mr Prinn said the allegation was a personal matter but it had affected his work for the party.
"I take responsibility by giving my resignation from the party," he said, adding that from now on he wanted the justice system to handle the allegations.
Public attention had fastened on Mr Prinn, after well-known lawyer Sittra Biebangkerd dropped several hints -- including revealing his political position -- of a high-profile politician suspected of sexually harassing the student.
Mr Sittra received a complaint from the student after an alleged incident on Monday.
It was alleged to have taken place at the Above Eleven bar and restaurant on the rooftop of Fraser Suites Hotel in Soi Sukhumvit 11 of Watthana district.
All hints given by Mr Sittra indicated he was referring to Mr Prinn.
Democrat Party spokesman Ramet Rattanachaweng said the party does not know anything about the incident but added no one is above the law.
Mr Sittra claimed on Thursday there are almost 10 people who have been sexually harassed by the suspect.
At least five victims were raped while some others were sexually molested, he alleged via Facebook live streaming.
But most victims were afraid to come forward due to the suspect's influence, he claimed.
Mr Sittra said the man had committed the same offence twice with two Thai girls aged 18 years old in the United Kingdom in 2003 when he was just 25 years old.
He said for the latest incident, the man tried to apologise to the victim by calling her mother on Wednesday, which was the date when Mr Sittra first revealed the matter via his Facebook account.
Mr Sittra said the victim is studying at a state university and met the suspect during an investment and economics lecture.
The suspect later invited her alone to the rooftop bar and restaurant to discuss the subjects linked to the lecture.
Instead, the man focused on sexual topics before allegedly touching her and kissing her on her hands and cheeks.
The victim was shocked and did not know what to do. She asked to leave. He drove her to a subway station.
While in his car, the victim was also harassed by the man again before he dropped her at the subway station.
Mr Sittra suggested the victim's mother should lodge a complaint with Lumpini police.
"The case will be prosecuted with utmost effort. For now, investigators are reviewing CCTV footage of the hotel," said Mr Sittra.
"I have conclusive evidence, but I will hold it for the moment."