An Indian man was arrested in Klong Toei district of Thailand for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl in July when they met for the first time after chatting online.
Bennur Yatheesha, 28, was arrested from his condo on Aug. 23 after an arrest warrant was issued on the same day. He was charged with raping a girl under 15 and unlawfully taking away a person aged under 15 years from her parents, the Nation reported.
He has denied the charges of raping the girl, and said that he took her to his room only for drinks, IANS reported.
Yatheesha met the alleged rape victim on the Line Chat app on June 30, and after chatting for a short while, he asked the girl to meet him at Khaosan Road on July 1, the report added.
The minor has accused the suspect of taking her to his condo and making her drink beer before raping her. The teenager was initially scared to tell her parents and stayed in a hotel room in the Sukhumvit area before going home on July 3 and informing her family about the incident. Her father then lodged a complaint with the police.
Under the Criminal Code of Thailand, if the rape victim is a minor who is not over 15 years of age, whether the sexual intercourse was with or without the consent of the victim, the offender shall be imprisoned for 20 years and pay a fine ranging from 8,000-40,000 Baht.
However, if the victim is over 13 years of age and the sexual intercourse proves to be consensual, and the offender asks the offended party to marry him, and the latter agrees to the same, the punishment shall not be imposed upon the offender. The same is true when during the pendency of the trial, the court grants the marriage of the victim and the offender, the punishment shall not be served, according to thailandlaw.org.