A 52-year-old man who had gained respect from local residents for his frequent meditation practice and charitable acts has been arrested in Saraburi for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl.
A team of Crime Suppression Division (CSD) police apprehended the man on a road in tambon Thap Kwang of Kaeng Khoi district on Saturday.
They identified him only as Sirasit but Thai media reported his full name was Sirasit Thanyaphokhinsathian.
He was wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Phetchabun provincial court on charges of raping a girl aged below 13 years and taking a girl aged below 15 for obscene acts.
Investigators said the crimes took place while Mr Sirasit was living in Phetchabun province. He had acted as a Buddhist meditation practitioner and often helped others who were in need.
His conduct had helped him gain trust and respect from local residents.
He subsequently became close to the family of a young girl and they trusted him, said the CSD on its Facebook page.
One day in 2018, the girl, then aged 10, went to his house to play as she often did. When she went into the bathroom, the suspect followed her there and forcibly raped her, police said.
Afterward, he allegedly threatened her not to tell anyone what had happened because it would bring shame to her and her family. If she wanted anything, he would buy it for her, he told her.
The girl was gripped with fear and dared not tell her family. The man continued to sexually abuse her on several occasions over a period of more than three years, the CSD said.
Last year, the girl could not tolerate the abuse any more and decided to tell her family what had happened to her. Subsequently, her parents and relatives took her to file a complaint with officers at the Ban Khok police station in Phetchabun.ad
After learning that a complaint had been filed against him, Mr Sirasit fled. Police subsequently learned that he had gone to Saraburi and they went there to arrest him.
During questioning, the suspect confessed to all charges, said the arresting team.
(Photo:@csdthai Facebook page)