Bua Yai Police handling the case had questioned several witnesses and earlier issued a summons for Nathaphop Boonthongtho to acknowledge the charge of taking a minor away from her parents for obscene purposes, said Capt Arkhom Boonsod, chief of Bua Yai Police Station.
Nathaphop, director of Patong Thanoen Samakkhi School in Bua Yai district, has until today (Jan 26) to report to the investigators. If he fails to show up to hear the charge, the police will seek court approval for his arrest.
If found to have sex with the minor, he will face another charge for statutory rape, said the police chief.
Nathaphop, 51, was accused of having sex with a 14-year-old Mathayom 2 (Grade 8) student at his school.
The sex scandal was exposed after angry local residents and members of the school committee released copies of Line chat messages from the girl’s mobile phone.
In the messages, the school director addressed the girl as “darling’’ and “dear wife’’. Local residents also saw him going out with the young girl on several occasions.
After the scandal spread, the director and the girl were absent from the school.
Nathaphop was earlier involved in an indecent act with a Prathom 6 student (Grade 6) at Wat Ban Nong Waeng School in the same district. At the time, he was punished with a 5% salary cut for two months after he reached a settlement with the student’s parents. He had paid B200,000 to the girl’s parents before being moved to the current school in the same district.
A source said the mother of a former boyfriend of the 14-year-old girl had met the mother of the girl at their village on Wednesday (Jan 24). The girl’s mother got angry at the boy’s mother for exposing the relationship of her daughter and the director.
In a fit of rage, the girl’s mother let slip that her daughter had already married the director. She threatened to sue the boy’s mother for causing damage to her family, added the source.
Nathaphop told the Bangkok Post yesterday (Jan 25) that he was absent because he was receiving treatment at a hospital. He declined to comment on the incident.
His current wife, 20, an employee at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Bua Yai, reportedly resigned from her job and left her house after learning about her husband’s sex scandal. Nathaphop had reportedly lived with her since she was 16.
Meanwhile, an inquiry panel investigating the school director’s alleged misconduct concluded Nathaphop had a sexual affair with the 14-year-old student.
Supapongsa Chantharang, deputy director of Nakhon Ratchasima primary education office zone 6, yesterday said that after questioning several witnesses and examining evidence, the panel found the allegations had ground.
The findings will be forwarded to the provincial education committee, chaired by the Nakhon Ratchasima governor, today. A disciplinary panel will be set up to investigate the director’s behaviour for gross disciplinary violation. If found guilty, he will be fired, said Mr Supapongsa.
The age of consent in Thailand is 15 years old. Individuals aged 14 or younger are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape.
Thailand statutory rape law is violated when an individual has consensual sexual intercourse with a person under age 15. However, sex with a minor under age 18 is a compoundable offence, regardless of consent.
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