Seven defendants were sentenced to life while two were sentenced to 15 years, another to 45 years, and another to 20 years and four months. The court found them guilty of gang-raping the girl.
The court ruled the allegations against the defendants were substantiated by solid evidence, including a physical examination of the girl that showed she was raped and statements given by a team of psychiatrists at Takuapa Hospital that the girl suffered from depression and psychological trauma.
The attackers filmed the girl being raped and used the footage to blackmail her into further coerced sex, the girl’s mother said.
Each man was ordered to give the victim B6 million in compensation.
However, the court did not find the men guilty of forcing the girl to take drugs. Sanphet Thipmonthian, a lawyer representing the defendants, said he will appeal against the ruling.
The case entered the spotlight after the girl’s mother lodged a complaint with local police last September, asking them to reopen her daughter's case after finding out there could be at least 40 people involved in the rape.
The girl’s mother revealed that the rapes began in May of 2016, when her daughter was 14 years old.
The woman said earlier that she was forced to leave her daughter alone with her younger brother when she went out at night.
She then began noticing unusual behaviour from her daughter, who eventually told her she had been repeatedly raped.
The villagers in Baan Koh Raet were upset by coverage of the case, with many becoming distressed as they believed in the innocence of the suspects.
Police said earlier they had sought warrants for as many as 17 suspects, but the court rejected them and told the police to gather more information to substantiate the allegations.
In a separate development, the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) yesterday arrested in Ayutthaya Somkid Sawasit, 31, suspected of attempted murder, to find that he was also wanted for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old in Phichit in 2009. Enquiries are ongoing.
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