Police guard accused rapist Thisanu Thonarat, 30, during a crime re-enactment in Kalasin on Saturday. (Photo by Yongyut Phupuangpet)
KALASIN: Police have pressed seven charges against an accused rapist following an assault on a university student and the shooting of her male friend. They have also expanded their investigation as they believe the crime may not have been his first.
The male student is still recovering at Kalasin Hospital, while the female victim has been traumatised. Relatives, friends and university lecturers have been trying to console her.
Thisanu Thonarat, 30, was taken on Saturday for a crime re-enactment along an 80-kilometre route from Somdej district of this northeastern province to neighbouring Sakon Nakhon, where the abduction and rape took place.
More than 100 officers guarded the accused as angry crowd of residents and students showed up to curse him.
The accused, a resident of Muang Kham district in Kalasin, surrendered to police on Friday after officers launched a large-scale manhunt and threatened to shoot to kill if he opened fire.
Thisanu, alias Chit or Thit Saiburn, had fled after the incident on Tuesday morning. The attack occurred while the two students were returning by motorcycle to their university to complete a video project after buying food. Sema Saengrit, 23, was shot in the face and his 21-year-old female passenger was abducted and later raped.
During the interrogation, the accused told police he worked as a rubber tapper and occasionally delivered rubber as well. Police say he told them that he had quarrelled with his wife over a family problem. He drank liquor and took two speed pills and then drove his pickup truck from Kham Muang district to Somdej district, where he spotted the two students on a motorcycle.
He said he nudged the bike with his truck, shot the man and abducted the young woman. After he raped her, he took her cash and abandoned her on Phu Phan mountain.
Pol Maj Gen Montri Charanpong, chief of Kalasin police, said officers had pressed seven charges: attempted murder, using a firearm to shoot and compel others, illegal possession of a firearm, rape, theft, firing shots in a public area, and illegal detention.
Officers were preparing to seek the detention of the accused at a court appearance later on Saturday.
Investigators say they are not convinced by the suspect’s comment that the crime was the first he had committed. They say his wife had told officers that he often took speed pills, drank and drove around whenever they fought, according to the Kalasin chief.
Thisanu Thonarat faces seven charges including rape and attempted murder. (Photo by Yongyut Phupuangpet)
The accused re-enacts the attack with a policewoman posing as a victim. (Photo by Yongyut Phupuangpet)