Deputy police spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen today (Apr 18) announced the arrest of the man – 23-year-old Trirat Changsanan – on Wednesday on the island, off the coast of Krabi.
The suspect was apprehended after police examined security camera recordings and other evidence.
The victim, a 21-year-old Briton whose name is being withheld, filed a complaint with police on the island on Monday alleging sexual assault.
She said she could not remember the attacker as the assault occurred while she was drunk and asleep outside a hotel restaurant on Loh Dalum beach, Pol Col Krissana said.
CCTV footage inspected by police correlated with the victim’s account of what had happened as she explained that she was out drinking with an Irishman she had met until 1am when the bar they were at closed.
The pair then started walking back to their hotels but stopped outside a beachfront guest house called Phi Phi Green House, in front of which were restaurant tables and chairs belonging to the guest house.
As they were too intoxicated to continue, they decided to sleep on the floor in front of the guest house. The Irishman later left to return to his hotel.
At approximately 3am, Trirat approached the woman while she was asleep and proceeded to cut her shorts off with a knife and removed her bikini shorts.
He then began to sexually assault her. The woman awoke and pushed Trirat away as he spoke about having sex with her. He then fled.
At 10am that morning, the Brit filed a complaint at the local police station but was unable to provide much detail of what took place so police began investigating.
They took the woman to see a doctor to examine signs of physical abuse. In addition, CCTV footage led them to the identification of the suspect who has now admitted to assaulting the woman but denies rape.
National police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda expressed his condolences to the tourist and ordered police and relevant agencies to assist in bringing justice as well as supporting the victim through the healing process.
Trirat has been charged with violent sexual assault and is being remanded in custody while the case unfolds.