First Suspect Arrested In Shelter Home Rape Case

(1 September) Police have
arrested Mr. Noi Khamsri, 57, in connection with the rape of 4 year old girl at a state-owned child
welfare centre in Chonburi Province.

The arrest followed the allegation that the girl had
been repeatedly raped by a number of individuals during her stay at the welfare centre. The girl was
placed at the shelter home because her mother was serving a brief jail term for drug
smuggling.

The police are still looking for other suspects, an officer said, including a 15
year old boy who was staying at th centre but left the place 2 weeks ago.

Mr. Noi, a
handicapped man, acknowledged he knew the girl, but denied raping her. It is not immediately clear
whether he is one of the staff at the shelter home.

Ms. Paveena Hongsakul, Minister of Social
Development and Human Security (SDHS), has visited the girl and stressed the need to ?reorganise?
the welfare house where the rape allegedly took place.

According to Ms. Paveena, the
security policy of the house was abominable, as its accommodation did not divide male and female
residents.

The ministry also planned to file disciplinary actions against Ms. Suda Sulong,
the director of the welfare house, Ms. Paveena said.

Mr. Pakorn Pantu, Director-General of
Department of Social Development and Welfare, said the ministry has already appointed a commission
to investigate Ms. Suda′s reckless behaviour. the commission should be able to decide whether
further investigation should be taken place within a week, he added.

Bang Lamung police said
the girl is still traumatised and has refused to cooperate in the investigation.

The girl
is currently under protection of Paveena Foundation, which is run by the SDHS Minister herself.
The foundation is also providing financial support for the girl’s family.