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Thailand looking into alleged sexual assault on Taiwanese (update)

2018/04/15 20:23:47

Bangkok, April 15 (CNA) A Thai court will hold a hearing on April 18 on a case in which a female Taiwanese tourist has accused a masseur of sexually assaulting her while she was getting a massage in Bangkok on Thursday.

The criminal court will hold an investigative session on Wednesday to help inquiry officials decide whether or not to move forward with the case.

Legal experts said there was the possibility that more court sessions might have to be held before a decision is made on whether to prosecute the suspect.

Earlier Sunday, Royal Thai Police Commissioner-General Chakthip Chaijinda demanded that the truth be uncovered, and he ordered the criminal and tourism police to thoroughly investigate the case and find out what happened as soon as possible.

Based on a preliminary investigation by police, the masseur did not deny there was a sexual encounter with the woman but said it was consensual, while the Taiwanese tourist has said it was not.

Taiwanese tabloid Apple Daily reported Saturday that the woman, in a post in a private Facebook group, said she was raped by the masseur during a massage in the Thong Lor district in Bangkok.

The woman said she called the Thai police afterwards to report her ordeal and after she provided some basic information she was told by police to first ask "the massage parlor's masseur" why there was that kind of behavior. The police then hung up, she wrote.

On Saturday, Andrew Lee (李憲章), the spokesman of Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in Taipei that the ministry was informed of the case a day earlier.

Soon after receiving the Taiwanese woman's telephone call on Friday, the ministry's representative office in Bangkok arranged a meeting with her and two of her friends.

They then visited the district police precinct together to report the behavior and then went to a hospital, where the woman received health checks to complete the required reporting procedures, Lee said.

The woman also identified the suspect at the Thong Lor police precinct on Friday, Lee said.

Thai police said the suspect initially denied the accusation on Thursday but confessed the next day when he was identified as the man committing the "offense," according to officials from Taiwan's representative office.

The 27-year-old suspect told police, however, that the Taiwanese woman consented to having sex and even gave him a 100-baht tip, according to Thai daily the Nation.

(By Liu Te-chang and Elizabeth Hsu)