Heartbroken dad wants justice
- 9 Jul 2017 at 06:09
- WRITER: CHAIYOT YONGCHAROENCHAI
DEVASTATING: Lisa told her father that she had been molested five times by her mother's boyfriend. (Supplied photo)
An ideal family for many people should consist of a father, mother and children who spend time together, love each other and protect one another. Sometimes the family means a single parent taking care of their own children. But for Lisa*, eight, and her brother, Tony*, five, the word "family" does not mean a safe and healthy environment.
Lisa was born in France to Cedric, a French businessman, and Lin*, whom he met in China where he has a business. The pair came to Thailand when Lin had problems while pregnant with Tony. They settled in Pattaya.
The family seemed to lead a happy life until Lin's behaviour began to change. She disappeared for several months without informing her family when Tony was only nine months old. That's when Cedric realised she was not a suitable mother and thought about separating from her.
The couple finally separated in 2012 with shared custody of the children. Both lived in Pattaya and alternated taking care of the children every other week. Even when it was Lin's turn, Cedric always took them to school and picked them up on a daily basis.
Although their parents didn't live together under the same roof, the children felt equally loved by both parents until Lin found a new British boyfriend and moved in with him in February last year. That's when the situation took a terrible turn.
SHE DID NOTHING
"He made me drink beer and my mum did nothing. She just sat there and laughed," Lisa told her father after an unpleasant experience with her mother's new lover.
"Mum sometimes slapped my face so hard and locked me in a dark room at her home. I'm so scared of the dark."
Cedric was heartbroken by what his daughter told him. She was only seven at the time. She shouldn't have been through this. The incident took place in October 2016. It was supposed to be a fun afternoon for the children and their mother. They went to a water park in Pattaya to enjoy their weekend off from school.
Lin's new boyfriend was there as well as many of his friends. The group were boozing while the children, including two belonging to Lin's new boyfriend, played in the water.
When they took a snack break, Lin's lover offered Lisa a glass of beer but she refused to drink. He wouldn't take no for an answer and forced her to drink. She ran away and threw up.
Tony was also forced to drink from the same glass and likewise vomited. The adults had a good laugh at the kids' reaction to the beer.
"I got so upset and called my ex-girlfriend immediately. She told me to relax because it was supposed to be a fun game. I told her it wasn't funny. She should be protecting our children, not humiliating them like that," Cedric said.
After the incident, Cedric took Lisa and Tony to a hospital to see a child psychologist about what had happened. She referred their case to a hospital in Bangkok.
The test results revealed that both children were clinically depressed. They told Cedric that this resulted from inappropriate treatment by their family. It can be considered as a form of abuse.
A CAN OF WORMS
After Lin was informed of her children's personality changes due to mistreatment by her and her boyfriend, she promised Cedric it wouldn't happen again.
Cedric then told her that he would be away in November as he had business to attend to back in France.
He tried to phone Lin from France but she didn't answer any of his calls.
Cedric had to stay up until 2am in order to call his children at their school during the daytime. That's when he found out that Lisa had been ill for five days but Lin had done nothing about it.
He contacted a hospital in Pattaya to send an ambulance to pick his daughter up for treatment. It turned out that she had developed a urinary tract infection.
Cedric then received a phone call from the school telling him Tony was very ill. He immediately flew back to Thailand to take his son to the hospital. A doctor advised him to talk to a child protection organisation. Lin was obviously neglecting her children.
After consulting a lawyer, Cedric sought a court order blocking Lin's custody until she could prove she was capable of taking care of the children. After he received the court order, Cedric took his children to live in Bangkok.
In the first week of January this year, when Cedric was at home with his children, Tony massaged his legs. The boy asked his father if he wanted him to massage his popol, which means penis in French.
"I was very surprised and asked him what is a popol massage and where he learned about it. He said he learned it from his mum's boyfriend. His sister told me she was asked to do the same thing but she refused to do so," Cedric said.
Cedric went back to the psychologist and talked to a social worker about what had happened. They suggested he file a complaint with the police. He went to the Police General Hospital in Bangkok and told them what happened.
The doctor wanted to examine Lisa to see if she had been sexually abused but she refused be touched by the doctor. She screamed and cried in fear.
"I couldn't bear hearing my daughter suffer. So I told the doctor no examination was needed. I just wanted to file the complaint," Cedric said.
The court ruled that Cedric should have full custody of the children in the meantime. The court scheduled a hearing in February about the custody order.
On his way to the court in Chon Buri, Cedric was followed by three cars. The chase was followed by multiple threatening messages.
Cedric knows that his children won't be safe with Lin and her lover, so he is fighting to get full custody of Lisa and Tony.
The children are now in hiding, fearful of the continuing abuse meted out by their mother's British lover. They have become quiet and withdrawn. Cedric said his son went completely silent in May. That's when he took him away for proper treatment in Paris. "I want to take them both back to France but my ex-girlfriend kept Lisa's passport after they came back from a trip to China to visit her family," Cedric said.
Lisa told her father with a forced smile and sad eyes that she is happy for her brother that he gets to go back to France where they are supposed to be living. She's jealous but she understands the situation, Cedric said.
Cedric took his son for treatment in Paris where he found a much better environment to live, surrounded by his father's family who really love him. Before he came back, he asked his father to buy him a souvenir of the Eiffel Tower to remind him of Paris.
They came back to Thailand and continued the treatment via Skype and webcam consultations in Bangkok. Tony started to open up more and interact more with his family.
On June 10, Lisa came to her father and asked him an important question. "Papa, if I tell you something bad, will you still love me?," Lisa asked her father innocently.
"I'm here for you to give you a lot of love no matter what happens," Cedric told his daughter.
Lisa told Cedric that she had been molested five times by her mother's boyfriend. He penetrated her twice and another three times he molested her without penetration.
Tony said he also saw his mother's lover climb into Lisa's bed and remove her pants and grab her by the hips. He didn't explain in detail since he didn't understand what he saw.
Lisa also told Cedric that her mother's boyfriend performed oral sex on her brother and tried to play with his anus. He asked Tony to do the same but he refused.
However, he masturbated while watching a pornographic movie while Tony was in front of him. He also asked Tony to touch his private parts while he watched porn.
"My heart broke when I heard this. I wanted them to stop telling me the truth because it was too much for me to handle. But I have to listen in order to get the truth out, so we can sue him for doing that to my children," Cedric said.
THAT'S ALL I WANT
The Phueng Dai Centre, which has branches in all hospitals under the Ministry of Public Health, revealed that 22,850 children were sexually abused last year. More than half are girls.
Cedric tried to contact the French embassy for help but they told him they couldn't do much to help. He then consulted a lawyer who told him he couldn't seek full custody in Thailand since the parents are not Thai citizens.
Tatpol Chuenchonpruk, the lawyer in charge of Cedric's case, told Spectrum he is in the process of getting sexual abuse added to the three charges that had been filed earlier with the Pattaya Prosecutor's Office.
"The original charges are for detaining the children, physical abuse and compromising the children's safety. All three charges together are so minor that they can just pay a fine and walk away from all the charges," Tatpol explained.
"We are now gathering more evidence to prove that the children were sexually abused. Even without physical examination, we can still use the results of the psychological test performed by certified psychologists as evidence. I believe we have sufficient evidence to pursue this case," he added.
On the day Spectrum visited the prosecutor's office in Pattaya, the man who allegedly sexually abused the children also showed up. He has three different teams of lawyers to defend his case. He angrily told the reporters that he had nothing to say and if the reporters wanted to know anything, they could talk to his lawyers.
He asked for the media to stop reporting this story since he doesn't want children to be affected by exposing themselves to the media. He said it is a problem between the parents and the children should be left out.
Pol Capt Nakaratch Nonsilad, the interrogation officer at Pattaya City Police Station, said the report was sent to the prosecutor's office in March but he hasn't received any evidence for the sexual abuse case. Those found guilty of sexual abuse of children can face four to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of 8,000 to 40,000 baht.
Tatpol told Spectrum that this case is quite difficult because there are many layers. In addition, the accused party is an influential person in Pattaya and has connections with the police.
"With everything that has happened, I don't want any money. I don't want to send anyone to jail. All I ever wanted was to get full custody of my children so that I can take them back to France and raise them in a better environment where they will grow up among people who truly love them. That's really all I want," Cedric said.
Lawyer talked to Pattaya police to ask for the progress on the case
French Father at the prosecutor office in Pattaya asking to press more charges against the British guy PHOTOS: CHAIYOT YONGCHAROENCHAI
Lisa, one of the victims allegedly abused by her mother's boyfriend, draws pictures while waiting to see the doctor. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
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