Nathaphop Boonthongtho, 51, was accompanied by his lawyer to Bua Yai district station as he answered charges of sexual harassment, sexually abusing a minor and depriving a girl of parental care.
Nathaphop, who is believed to have been in a relationship with the girl, reserved the right to testify in court.
After police questioned Nathaphop was taken to a court as investigators sought to detain him further while his lawyer filed a request for bail.
He also faces a disciplinary probe. Three panelists who make up the probe into the case said it will be completed within the 60-day time frame.
Panel members also visited Wat Ban Patong Tha Neon Samakkhee School in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Bua Yai district to speak to witnesses and compile evidence, according to a source.
Nathaphop is required to meet the panel within 15 days to explain his conduct.
The Teachers Council of Thailand has also sent a team to Bua Yai district to gather information as it decides whether to revoke his teacher and school executive licences, the source added.
The other suspect in the sexual harassment case is a Mathayom 3 student who formerly dated the girl. He faces the same charges as Nathaphop after the girl’s mother lodged a formal complaint with the police.
The boy’s mother insisted her son had done nothing wrong but said she was aware he and the girl had become “intimate” one year earlier.
She claims the girl’s mother approached her at one point seeking a dowry.
When the affair first came to light nearly a month ago the girl, a Mathayom 2 (Grade 8) student, and school director could not be contacted for several weeks, fuelling speculation they had eloped.
Both have since returned to their homes. It is not known where they went or if they were together.
Meanwhile, Athapol Anunthavorasakul, an academic from Chulalongkorn University, said at a seminar yesterday that sexual harassment in schools is often kept quiet because suspects who are education officials are investigated by their peers.
Victims, or members of the general public, typically do not get a chance to make inquiries after accusations come to light. In five years, only 53 cases of sexual assault at schools were taken to court.
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