SUPHAN BURI: Police have placed a 12-year-old rape victim and her sister under protection after they were threatened by the suspected perpetrators for exposing the crime, according to provincial authorities.
Five adults and two juveniles identified as the victim’s relatives and neighbours stand accused of assault of a person under 13 years old, committing indecency with a person under 15 and threatening to use force.
The five adults were arrested last week, but one of them was released after posting 350,000-baht bail yesterday. One of the two juvenile suspects turned himself in to police.
The release of the adult sparked fears of retribution against the victim for exposing the crime.
On Tuesday, provincial governor Nimit Wanchaithanawong said he had ordered local authorities to protect the girl and her sister.
The girl has since been placed in a welfare home while the sister was placed in the house of a local leader for the time being.
Mr Nimit said the victim showed signs of emotional recovery from her ordeal.
Sujin Wajakij, chief of Muang district, said a team of provincial authorities, the police and psychologists will speak with the sister about the crime, noting the sister is being given protection during the investigation.
Mr Sujin noted that the victim and her sister lived in close vicinity to the suspects because they are related.
The 14-year-old juvenile suspect who turned himself in denied any involvement in the case. He was accompanied by his mother.
The sister, the victim’s 29-year-old legal guardian, filed charges against the seven neighbours and relatives last week.
The sister said she learned about the crime, but she and the victim were afraid of revenge if she alerted the authorities. The sister decided to take legal action after the victim complained of chronic abdominal pain and taken to a doctor who confirmed she had been raped.
One of the suspects, a 51-year-old man, allegedly assaulted the victim multiple times and threatened to hurt her if she told anyone about what had happened.