Court accepts case against ex-monk for violating girl under 13
BANGKOK: — A woman believed to have mothered Wirapol Sukpol’s (the monk) child when she was under-age yesterday filed a complaint against the former monk, accusing him of statutory rape and restraining her freedom, and demanded Bt100 million in civil compensation from him.
Of the Bt100 million, Bt70 million is being demanded by the unnamed woman, who is now 26, and Bt30 million by her grandmother who took care of her and her son. The child allegedly fathered by Wirapol, aka Luang Pu Nenkham, is now 11 years old. Wirapol is now on the run in the US after being wanted for several offences, mostly involving fraud and embezzlement.
The statutory rape case filed by the woman cites sexual violation of a girl under 13, which carries heavier penalties than the case pursued by the Department of Special Investigation, in which Wirapol is accused of sexually violating a girl under 15.
The Ubon Ratchathani court has accepted the complaint and set a preliminary hearing on September 2. Somchart Wongtharathorn, the woman’s lawyer, said he was awaiting a DNA-based maternity test to support the complaint, while the test on Wirapol had not yet been possible, as he has absconded and his parents were no cooperating.
So is this a straightforward case of statutory rape? I think not. Let’s take a closer look at the report in the Bangkok Post. Thais can be so candid that they sometimes fail to realise that they may have said certain things that reveal more than what is intended.
The 84-year-old grandmother said she had taken her granddaughter to Mr Wirapol in front of her school and another place called Bon Kai where the then monk picked her up in his car. Mr Wirapol sometimes wore casual clothes when taking her granddaughter out, she said.
The grandmother said Mr Wirapol normally picked up her granddaughter between 5pm and 6pm and dropped her back about 4am. She said this went on over a period of several years.
She said she sent her granddaughter to the then monk because he promised to take care of the girl. Mr Wirapol sometimes visited her granddaughter during her pregnancy, but he failed to give financial support for his child as he had promised, the grandmother added.
A monk dressed in casual clothes picks your granddaughter up between 5pm and 6pm, brings her back at 4am in the morning and you don’t know what is going on, allowing that to happen over a period of several years? We know why grandma is trying to seek compensation only after the monk has fallen from grace, but what was she doing, letting her granddaughter stay for nearly 12 hours and almost overnight with a casually-dressed monk?
© Chan Joon Yee