I've been following this story for a while now and it still has me scratching my head. From the Phuket Gazette:
PHUKET CITY: After spending more than five months in a Phuket jail, the German teenager arrested along with 43-year-old Briton Dax Young on child sex abuse charges in March is set to fly home next month.
The 18-year-old, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty at the Phuket juvenile court today and was handed a four-year suspended sentence and fined 17,000 baht.
He plans to fly home to Germany on August 18 and start a new life in Cologne.
The judgment brings to an end a saga that first came to public attention in March this year, when the youth was arrested together with Dax Young.
The pair were accused of sexually abusing boys as young as 9 years old.
Those who know the young man, including German diplomats involved in the case, believe he was a victim of Dax Young's ascendancy, rather than a perpetrator.
The teenager was a minor when arrested, and claims he was forced to have sex with the boys by Mr Young, who threatened to make problems for the teenager's family.
The cold, hard facts are that this lad was 17 when he was arrested, which is above the age of consent, yes? He was accused and admitted to having sex with boys under the age of consent. He then pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced.
So, he has been let off because people, including the media, it appears, "believe" he was manipulated by Dax Young. Previous reports suggested that the German youth pleaded guilty because the Thai legal system would never see him as a victim, rather than a perpetrator. So where's the proof he is a victim?
This is from a previous story:
German Ambassador to Thailand Dr Hanns Schumacher said, "…this youngster was irresponsibly left on the streets of Phuket at a very young age for years without any adult supervision. It is therefore no surprise that he was introduced to criminal company. This is the main reason we hope that at the end of the proceedings, [the youth] will be considered rather a victim and not a perpetrator."
That's vague, at best. Here's some more:
The boy, who confessed to conspiring with Mr Young to sexually abuse Thai boys as young as nine years old, allegedly appears in digitally recorded images seized as evidence.
The boy's mother and sister insist he be released immediately and allowed to give evidence against Mr Young, 41, who denies the charges against him.
The boy was sexually abused by the older man for four years, the family claim.
The family "claim". That doesn't seem like proof to me. Has this been proved in a court of law or is this their word against Dax Young's? And this is the same family that abandoned the youth on the streets of Phuket for "years". Why should we trust them? What are we not being told here.
This is the part of the story that really confuses me:
Maj Gen Apirak said the German youth was renting a house with his mother in Rawai and has lived in Thailand for one year
There has been nothing offered as proof by the media or the police that the German youth should be let off with a suspended sentence.