19 Year old UK teen raped in Koh Tao Island in Thailand

UK teen raped in Koh Tao Island in Thailand

A young woman who was allegedly drugged, raped and robbed on Koh Tao has warned fellow British holidaymakers to stay away from the notorious party island in Thailand.

The 19-year-old has hit out at Thai authorities, claiming they tried to publicly discredit her and didn’t bother to do a proper investigation into the alleged attack which left her terrified.

Speaking for the first time, the woman claims police did not offer basic support or forensic checks, and then tried to hide the truth to protect the region’s lucrative tourism industry.

She said the attack happened during her gap-year holiday in June on the same beach where British backpackers Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were murdered in 2014.

But Thai police have claimed that after an investigation they concluded that no rape had taken place on Sairee beach because the tide was too high, an editorial in the Bangkok Post said.

The woman told the Times she was raped in the early hours of June 26, and believes her rum and Coke drink had been spiked at a bar along the waterfront.

A male friend who ordered a drink at the same time also became drowsy before blacking out, she added.

She said she left the bar and doesn’t remember anything about what happened afterwards until she woke up and found herself only partly dressed with a man standing over her.

The woman said: “The next thing I remember is waking up. My shorts and underwear were off me.

“A Thai guy was standing over me. As I woke up he just smiled at me and then he took off.”

The woman said she had scratches down one of her legs, burn grazes on her knee which have left scars, and she was “in a lot of pain” and covered in sand.

She said the man stole her mobile phone, her cash and her bank cards.

She said the attack happened on her last night on Koh Tao and she suspects she was targeted because she and her friends had been out drinking on the nights they were there.

The woman said she was terrified and she just wanted to get off the island.

She said she reported the rape to police on Koh Phangan, but they refused to take action because the alleged crime didn’t happen on that island.

The officers did not carry out forensics or offer any support, and they did not have a rape kit, the woman said.

She claims they only offered to give her a police report so she could make an insurance claim on her stolen belongings.

She said her T-shirt was stained with the rapist’s semen, but police on Koh Tao refused three times to accept it when her friend brought it to them.

A police investigation was opened last week after the woman’s mum spoke out publicly.

But police have threatened to ban the young woman from Thailand, and claim she made up the rape allegation to cover up having sex with a British friend, it was reported.

The woman has denied that claim.

Police on Koh Tao have told local media that no rape had taken place, and have claimed she did not make a rape complaint – instead telling them only that her valuables had been stolen.

Surat Thani police commander Apichart Boonsriroj said earlier this week that officers would issue a summons for the woman to return to the island and give evidence.

But her mum has said she wouldn’t let her daughter go back to Thailand.

There is a three month time limit in which to file a police complaint after the date of the alleged crime – giving the teenager until the end of September.

On Friday, Thai authorities released 12 people on bail after they were arrested for sharing a Facebook post about the woman’s claims.

The group was accused of violating the country’s Computer Crime Act by sharing “false information that threatened Thailand’s security”, it was reported.

The young woman has now warned fellow Brits to steer clear of the picturesque island during their travels, calling it a “dark side” to Thailand where she would never feel safe.

The Bangkok Post editorial took police to task for their alleged failings during the investigation into the woman’s claims.

It said: “Why not treat the initial complaint seriously and without prejudice and refrain from persecuting netizens?

“The international community responds well to those who are willing to be responsible and can lose face gracefully when necessary.

“The police continue with their myopic conduct at the nation’s peril and would be well advised to learn behaviour consistent with being on a world stage.”

Koh Tao, which translates to Turtle Island, has earned a reputation as “death island” or “rape island” following a number of attacks on young tourists or unexplained backpacker deaths in recent years.

Sairee Beach has been plagued by ten mysterious deaths in the last six years.

Unexplained deaths include British tourists Ben Harrington, 32, in 2012; Nick Pearson, 25, in 2014; Luke Miller, 26, in 2016 and Christina Annesley, 23, in 2015.

Russians Dimiti Povse, 29, and Valentina Novozhyonova, 23, also died in 2015 and 2017.

And last month, German Bernd Grotsch’s body was found at his home deep in the jungle in the Mae Haad part of Koh Tao.