Police said they received a complaint that the suspect was using fake social media profiles on Facebook and the gay dating app Blued to win the trust of his victims, so they would send him nude photos before agreeing to meet him. When they found out he was not who he pretended to be online, he then would threaten to make their nude photos public if they balked at having sex with him.
Police said in a statement that they discovered medicine for treating HIV when they arrested the 43-year-old suspect, Sgt. Maj. Jakkrit Khomsing, at his home Wednesday in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen. They said tests confirmed he was infected with HIV.
So far they have determined that Jakkrit had more than 70 victims between the ages of 13 and 18, police said .
“Even though the suspect is a soldier, this behaviour — and I’ve consulted with army commanders — is a personal issue, not an organizational one,” police Maj. Gen. Surachate Hakparn said.
Police said they are widening their investigation and attempting to contact other victims who have not yet filed charges.
Police have so far charged Jakkrit with six offences: sex with a minor under 15 with or without their consent, punishable by four-to-20 years in prison; indecent assault of a minor under 15 using threats, punishable by up to 10 years in prison; separating a minor under 15 from their parents without reason, punishable by three-to-15 years in prison; blackmail, punishable by up to three years in prison; and coercing minors to conduct inappropriate acts, punishable by up to three months in prison.
An HIV-infected Thai sergeant major has been arrested and charged with raping an estimated 75 mostly teenage boys after luring them to meet him in the northeast of the country, a senior law enforcement offical told AFP Thursday.
The 43-year-old soldier in Khon Kaen province used a false profile on a gay dating app to invite the alleged victims — who ranged in age from 13 to 18 — to meet him, said Surachate Hakparn, deputy head of the technology crime task force.
Surachate said the teenagers had been cajoled into sharing revealing photos of themselves before arriving and then were blackmailed into having sex with the man once they were there and learned he was not the man in the profile.
“We have evidence that he raped the boys, about 75 of them,” he said Thursday, adding that the suspect was arrested and charged the day before.
The man had allegedly carried out the sexual assaults for four years and authorities were tipped off about the claims via a tip on the Facebook page of the technology crime task force.
Surachate added that police believe the scope of the investigation could be even broader and go back years.
“He has done this to boys since he served in Bangkok and continued doing it in Khon Kaen,” Surachate said, adding that the suspect had been stripped of his rank.
In total the suspect faces six charges, including the rape and molestation of underage children. The maximum penalty for child rape is 20 years in jail.
Thailand has made headlines for sex abuse scandals in the past but much of the activity occurs out of sight and receives little coverage.
In October a former monk known for flying on a private jet and wearing designer goods was convicted of raping an underage girl in a case that shocked the Buddhist-majority country.