Hannah Gavois, a 23-year-old from Queens, New York, is recovering at Bangkok Hospital Phuket after surgery on her spine after she fell 45 metres down a mountain at Railay, in Krabi, while fleeing a sexual attack Apai Raingworchai, 28, who she had hired as a local guide to lead over over the mountain. (See story here.)
Ao Nang Deputy Police Chief Lt Col Winai Poonsawas told The Phuket News this morning that officers already have taken an incident report from Ms Gavois.
“She has given us her statement, and it is similar to what Mr Apai had told us. He did sexually attack her, but did not rape her.”
In her chilling recollection of her ordeal, Ms Gavois told the Daily Mail, “It was pitch black and before I knew it, I was in mid air falling off a cliff. I was honestly thinking I wouldn’t survive,” she said.
“I hit my head a few times and landed with a big bump. I was screaming in pain. It was the most painful thing ever. I felt like a total vegetable. I felt completely vulnerable. I couldn’t move anything.”
Apai soon caught up with her as she lay helpless. “He heard me screaming and moaning and he came down and climbed down the mountain and starting crying and praying,” she said, adding that Apai was oddly remorseful about the attack.
“He was feeling very guilty. I was begging him to call for help. He got on the phone and started calling and I thought somebody was coming, but nobody came,” Ms Gavois told The Daily Mail. (See story here.)
Then her situation took a sick twist as Apai allegedly decided he wasn’t through with Ms Gavios.
“He got on top of me. He took of his pants and masturbated on me,” she recalled. “He didn’t rape me but he did everything else. I really thought I was going to die,” she said.
Ms Gavios said she tried to remain calm and avoid screaming to prevent him from choking her.
“As soon as it got lighter I started calling for help. He kept saying, ‘No police! No police!’” she said.
Col Winai of the Ao Nang Police believes the court will be commensurate in handing down its punishment.
“The suspect is facing assault causing serious injury and charges of sexual assault. He is now being held at a cell at the Krabi Provincial Court,” Col Winai told The Phuket News.
“There is no question what he did was wrong and unacceptable, and his fate is up to the court to decide. I am sure his punishment will be severe,” he added.
Col Winai confirmed that Apai is not a a registered tour guide, though he was hired to lead Ms Gavois over the mountain at Railay, a popular rock-climbing locale with spectacular views over Phang Nga Bay.
“He is a homeless man living at Ao Railay. Locals give him food and drink to get by, and sometimes people pay him to help move or carry things at the beach,” Col Winai said.
“He is mentally stable,” Col Winai added, in response to reports that Apai suffers a mental disability.
“We also gave him a drug and alcohol test after the incident, and the test results came back negative,” Col Winai said.
Col Winai hopes to have Ms Gavois give her testimony to the court as early as next week, but doctors say she needs at least 10 more days recovery in hospital.
Dr Manop Trinarong at Bangkok Hospital Phuket said that Ms Gavois is recovering well from her spinal surgery.
“She is recovering but needs to stay in hospital at least one more week. She can move her hands well, but her legs are still a bit of a problem. She can move her legs, but she cannot move them very much,” he said.
Ms Gavois arrived in Thailand on holiday, taking a break from teaching English in Vietnam.
Her parents arrived in Krabi last Saturday (Sept 3) to provide support during her recovery.