CityNews – Following the story published in CityNews yesterday about a British tourist who was raped in Pai, the victim contacted CityNews today in order to give her account of what happened.
The perpetrator, who has now confessed to rape following a DNA match, had initially claimed that the sex was consensual. He had previously said that the victim had told him to stop and then told him she loved him and then kissed him. This then lead to sex. After reading this statement, as well as that of Police General Wut Lippatapanlop, Deputy Commissioner General, that “the rape happened as a result of bars closing after hours, making tourists senseless”, the British tourist said that she had to tell her side of the incident.
Obviously shaken, the victim who wishes to remain anonymous, sat down and told us that she had been in Pai with ten friends visiting a festival on October 25th. They had all had a few drinks and everyone went their own way. She lost track of her friends around 2am and was standing at Don’t Cry Bar looking for a way to get home. Since Pai has no public transportation late at night, it is not uncommon (though obviously not advisable) for tourists to get lifts from locals or other tourists who are heading in their directions. She had asked many people how to get to her guesthouse, which was quite a way out of town and this one Thai guy, a construction worker originally from Sankampaeng, offered to take her there as it was on his way home.
When she noticed that they had driven past her guesthouse she protested, but he began to drive faster and faster. By this point she knew that she was in trouble, but was too afraid to do more than ask him to stop. Eventually he stopped on a dirt road in what she thought was a jungle area, “I heard a waterfall nearby and that is how I knew where we were. He pushed me against a tree and raped me. He spoke in Thai the whole time, but I understood a little, having been here so often, not much. He had no weapon, but he had force. The police asked why I didn’t scratch him, but look, I have no nails,” showing me her tiny nails, all bitten to the quick.
“Afterwards, and I had read and seen many documentaries and accounts of rape and the dangers associated with it, I was afraid for my life. He lay on top of me then and began crying and telling me how much he loved me, how he wanted to marry me and that he was sorry. He took a ring I had on my finger and put it on his hand.”
“I was not going to have an argument with him in the middle of the jungle and I knew that I had to talk him down, to appease him. I couldn’t believe when I read the news much later and found out that he had said that I had told him I loved him and that I had kissed him. I am a lesbian, I am not interested in men. I was fighting him the whole time, it was only afterwards, when we were alone in the jungle and he was remorseful that I tried to appease him and I think it worked because the next thing I knew I was back on his bike and he said he was taking me home and that we were going to get married. He was obviously intoxicated.”
“I remember that there was a guesthouse I had been to before called Pai Chang which was always full and which had CCTV cameras. So I faked an asthma attacked and told him that I needed to get my medicine from there. He took me there and I immediately memorised his license number and ran inside and started knocking on bungalow doors. There were some Thai guests who shouted out that I should call the police, but even with me begging – because the man was still around – no one opened their door for me. Finally a Canadian couple came out and kept me company. I think that was when he drove off and they took me to the hospital.”
Her ordeal did not stop here. Calling one of her friends who speaks fluent Thai to come and help, she found herself at the 24 hour Pai hospital. But there were no doctors, so the police called up the doctor and asked him to come. The doctor said that he was asleep and that it was not an emergency and so the police took her back to her guesthouse.
“There was no way I wasn’t going to have a shower, I was covered in mud and blood and though I was very worried that without a rape test we wouldn’t catch him, I had to get clean. Finally at around 2pm the next day the police came and took me to the hospital where I was told that I had to pay 3,700 baht for a rape test. I was furious. I was raped and now I have to pay for it to be tested? After a few phone calls the Pai Tourist Police said that they would cover the cost and I was handed the amount in cash in an envelope and had to be photographed receiving it.”
Following rape, victims are given a large amount of drugs to protect them against many possible diseases and she said that she was humiliated as she stood in the middle of the emergency room and was told in front of everyone that she was not HIV positive and that was when she was given her medicine, without any information about side effects, which have since been quite severe and which she only found out about following her own research.
Thankfully with the license plate number and some DNA found on her clothes (the CCTV footage was too dark to show anything of use), an arrest warrant was issued on Friday 30th October. On the Sunday she was picked up by the police and taken to Pai to point him out in a lineup, which she did.
She has since heard that the police, on visiting nearby places to get information on the night, had described her so well that now everyone knew that she was the victim. She was also shocked to find that even with the British embassy asking the press not to release her name, some local newspapers have done so (CityNews is calling them all up now on her behalf to request they remove it).
“The embassy has been great. They flew up and have made sure that I am appointed a prosecutor. However, I am shocked that there has been no offer of counselling from the police and overall the communication has been really bad. I don’t really know what is going on. I suppose it is great that they caught the guy so quickly and that there is not only proof, but that he confessed, but the statements made by the Police General blaming me for being senseless and the guy’s first statement about how I said I loved him is so far from the truth I wanted to tell my side of the story.”
“Many people are telling me to not talk to the press but I think that these stories need to be told. This happens too often and people are treated badly. The system needs to change.”