DNA test confirms train rapist

A DNA test has confirmed that former railway worker Wanchai Saengkhao raped a girl on a southern train last Sunday, officials said, as calls for the death penalty mounted.

Samples collected from the body of the 13-year-old girl showed conclusively that the rapist was Mr Wanchai, said Pol Maj Gen Dr Pornchai Suteerakune, the head of the Institute of Forensic Medicine (IFM). The 22-year-old man had been hired to make up beds on State Railway of Thailand Train No. 174 from Surat Thani to Bangkok. Police said he confessed to raping the girl and throwing her body out of the train as it passed through Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Black-clad activists rallied in front of the Siam Paragon shopping centre in Bangkok on Saturday morning to demand the death penalty for rapists.

Lalita Pongsawat, who organised the rally via a Facebook page that she set up, said participants wanted to raise public awareness that such crimes were not uncommon or isolated and needed to be stopped.

She said that the death penalty should not be commuted even if a rapist confesses. She also said she had gathered the names of about 30,000 people who backed the death penalty for rapists.

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