Victim sought outside help after waiting several days, at commander’s suggestion, for soldier to apologise
A disgraced soldier accused of attempting to rape a civilian employee at an army office in Kanchanaburi has been dismissed from military service.
The 17th Army Circle on Friday ordered the immediate dismissal of Sgt Kittisak Duangprasart after a fact-finding panel found him guilty of a gross disciplinary violation involving sexual misconduct, said Col Sirichan Ngathong, a deputy spokeswoman for the army.
The move followed the filing of a police complaint by a 34-year-old female employee on Wednesday against Sgt Kittisak for sexual molestation. She was accompanied to the Lat Ya police station in Kanchanaburi by the businessman and popular social media advocate Kanthat Pongpaiboonvej, alias Kan Chompalang.
The victim told officers that the incident occurred on Aug 24, said Pol Col Techin Banchong, chief of Lat Ya police.
Sgt Kittisak, who worked in the same military office as the woman, went to the woman’s residence around 9am on that day after learning that her husband was not home, said Pol Col Techin.
The soldier allegedly molested her, hugging her from behind and asking to have sex, but the woman refused. She told him that she would tell his girlfriend of his conduct. She used her mobile phone to videotape the incident but the man pushed it away. Her phone fell to the floor.
The soldier then tried to rape her, biting her nipples through her blouse, taking off her pants and touching her private parts. To stop his advance, the woman told the man she was having her period. The soldier later left the house.
Pol Col Techin said the accused would face four charges: attempted rape, indecent assault using force, intruding into the house and causing damage to property.
The woman said she had already alerted her immediate commander about what happened to her on that day. He told her that he would ask the soldier to apologise for his conduct. Five days passed and there was no response, she said.
At that point, the woman’s husband then took her to the Lat Ya police station to report what had happened. She also brought the recording to the commander and was told that the accused soldier would pay compensation and apologise. But her family rejected the offer as the progress of the case had been too slow. She later turned to the media for help.
The victim told the media that the accused soldier had sexually harassed other female colleagues but they dared not file complaints against him. It was widely known that the accused was from a wealthy family as they run a rice mill. He also had good relations with a military commander, she said, but did not name the commander.
On Thursday night, the accused soldier, accompanied by an officer from the Judge Advocate General’s Department and a lawyer, reported to Lat Ya police to acknowledge the four charges, said Pol Col Techin.
During questioning, Sgt Kittisak denied all charges. He applied for bail and was released, said the police station chief.
Mr Kanthat on Friday posted a message on his Kan Chompalang Facebook page to thank the army for delivering justice to the victim by dismissing the disgraced soldier.
Kanthat “Kan Chompalang” Pongpaiboonvej (left) and the 34-year-old victim give a wai to two officials after learning about the dismissal of a soldier who sexually molested the woman. (Photo: Kan Chompalang Facebook page)