Ex-school chief gets 5 years jail term over sex with student

Nathaphop Boonthongtho, 51, former school director in Bua Yai district, Nakhon Ratchasima, is sentenced to 10 years and four months in jail over sex affairs with a 14-year-old girl student. The sentence was halved because he confessed. (Photo taken from his Facebook page by Prasit Tangprasert)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: A school director sacked for having sexual affairs with a 14-year-old girl at the school in Bua Yai district has been sentenced to five years and two months in jail without suspension.

The Bua Yai provincial court on Thursday sentenced Nathaphop Boonthongtho, 51, former director of Patong Thanoen Samakkhi School in Bua Yai district, to 10 years and four months in jail for several counts of charges related to sexual abuse against his student.

Mr Nathaphop was found guilty of obscenity against a girl aged not more than 15 (8 months for each count), depriving an underaged girl of parental care for obscene purposes (8 months), depriving the girl of parental care for sexual molestation without her consent (5 months) and sexual molestation (4 years).  In total, he was given 10 years and four months in jail.

As the defendant confessed, the sentences were halved to five years and two months in total without suspension. The defendant was given 30 days to appeal.

The sexual scandal was exposed in January this year when angry local residents and members of the  school committee released copies of Line chat messages found on the girl’s mobile phones.

In the message, Mr Nathaphop addressed the girl as “darling’’ and “dear wife’’.  Local residents also saw him out with the girl on several occasions.

The scandal prompted provincial education authorities to set up a panel to look into the sexual allegations against him. In July, the panel found him guilty of gross disciplinary violation involving sexual misconduct and decided unanimously to sack him from the teaching service.

Mr Nathaphop also faced a rape charge. The court set Oct 16-18 for examination of witnesses.

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