CHONBURI — An 8th grade schoolgirl was nearly gang-raped in her classroom by eight of her classmates, her parents told police in Chonburi province on Friday.
According to the girl's testimony, the incident took place at her school, in Sattahip district, on 3 July when most of her classmates had already left the classroom for cleaning activities around the school compound.
The victim said she was staying behind to pack up her belongings, when suddenly six of her male classmates locked the classroom and attacked her, while two more male students stood as lookouts outside the classroom.
The victim was reportedly slammed against the wall before the assailants held her down on the floor and attempted to rape her. Fortunately, she said, she managed to bite one of the boy's arms, causing him so much pain that he let go. A teacher happened to be walking near the classroom at that moment and rescued her from the attackers, the victim added.
She also told police that the same group of attackers have sexually assaulted other girls in the same school, but those victims were too embarrassed to inform the teachers.
The girl's father said he has pressed charges against the guardians of the alleged attackers and the director of the school for negligence.
"I will not let this thing happen to my daughter or any other student ever again," the father said.
A relative also expressed anger to our correspondent that the school staff should not have let a girl stay alone with other male students without the supervision of a teacher. Although the school director has promised to expel all 8 students involved in the alleged attack, the relative said there should be more precaution and vigilance from the teachers to prevent such crime.
Pol.Col. Chanapan Nawalak, commander of Sattahip Police, said the police are taking the matter seriously. He said the 8 students will be summoned to the police station for interrogation, after which they will be charged with illegal detention and sexual assault.
Attorney-generals, psychiatrists, and social workers will be involved in the interrogation, Pol.Col. Chanapan added.
Experts warn that the actual statistics of sexual violence in Thailand are in fact much higher than official numbers, as many Thai women chose not to report the cases to the police, partly due to apathy on the part of authorities, social stigmas surrounding sexual assualt, and the low numbers of convictions of defendants in sexual violence cases.
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