December 12, 2023
BANGKOK – Olympic-medal-winning boxer, Somrak Kamsing, has found himself embroiled in controversy as he faces allegations of sexual abuse by a 17-year-old.
The boxer, meanwhile, has countered the accusations by saying he is a victim of attempted blackmail.
The girl, who claims she was lured to the boxer’s hotel room, allegedly took photographs of the boxer sleeping and used them as evidence to file a complaint against him. She filed the complaint at Muang Khon Kaen Police Station at 4.30am on Sunday.
Somrak, who reportedly met the girl at a pub in Khon Kaen, claimed he did not know she was a minor when he took her to the hotel. He said he stopped all sexual activity upon learning she was underage. However, he did acknowledge undressing and caressing the girl before falling asleep.
As of Monday morning, Khon Kaen police had not interrogated Somrak and were waiting for the results of the girl’s medical examination. Police plan to interview the girl in the presence of a psychologist in line with Thailand’s child protection law.
The case has garnered widespread attention, amplified by social media discussions after the police station issued an announcement of the case on Sunday.
According to the announcement, police confirmed that A (a pseudonym), aged 17 years and 10 months, had filed a complaint against Somrak at 4.30am on Sunday alleging that he had taken her to the hotel to sexually abuse her.
The police said it registered the complaint and conducted a preliminary interrogation of the girl and her friends who had picked her up at the hotel. The girl was later sent for a medical checkup at Khon Kaen Hospital for evidence of rape or sexual abuse.
Police said it is coordinating with officials of the Social Development and Human Security Ministry to hold further interviews with the girl when she is ready.
A is currently under the care of Khon Kaen’s child reception home until she is picked up by her family.
Police have said the operators of the pub, where the incident unfolded, will also face charges of allowing a person under 20 years old to consume alcohol and for selling alcoholic drinks after hours.
Police also said the accused will be summoned to face charges as soon as enough evidence has been gathered.
In an interview with The Nation, Somrak insisted he had not forcefully taken the girl to the hotel and had not had intercourse with her. He claims he was shocked when he learned her actual age was 17.
Somrak, who earned Thailand’s first Olympic medal in 1996, said he called the girl on Monday morning to ask why she had filed a police complaint against him.
“I can’t reveal the details because it’s delicate and she is a child,” he said when asked about the conversation.
However, he added, that he has hired a lawyer to contest the charges and is confident he will be able to prove his innocence based on CCTV recordings in the pub and hotel.
“I’m not sure she intended to blackmail me, but my friends believe so,” Somrak said.
He added that he and his wife divorced two months ago.
Somrak became a national hero when he brought home a gold medal in the men’s featherweight boxing category in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Upon returning, he was recruited by the Royal Thai Navy and given the rank of lieutenant commander. Later, he and his wife were sued for failing to repay a 4-million-baht debt by the Bangkok Assets Management Company, and was declared bankrupt by the Bankruptcy Court on September 21, 2018.
After the court ruling, he was fired by the Navy and his rank was revoked.
In his interview with The Nation, Somrak insisted he took the girl to his hotel because he was convinced she was 20, even though she had told him several times inside the pub that she was 17. He said he thought she was joking because she had after all entered the pub.
He said he later learned that she had doctored the ID card photo on her mobile phone to make the guards at the pub’s door believe she was 20.
He said when the girl reaffirmed her age, he had already undressed her. He then told her nothing would be done and urged her to go to sleep, but she said she would call her friends to pick her up.
“So, I fell asleep under the blanket and woke to hear she had filed a police complaint against me,” Somrak said.
Meanwhile, Pol Colonel Yossawat Kaewsuebthanyanit, chief of the Muang Khon Kaen Police Station, said Somrak will be summoned for questioning once the girl has been interviewed.
“Police are waiting for her to feel better first,” Yossawat said.
He added that three of A’s friends, who picked her up at the hotel, have been interviewed and police will summon the motorcyclist who delivered Somrak and the girl to the hotel.