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British man arrested in Thailand for sexually abusing boys

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British man arrested in Thailand for sexually abusing boys

An elderly British ex-pat has been arrested on the Thai island of Phuket and accused of committing indecent acts with underage children

John David Ross Young, 78, was detained along with his adopted son, a 32-year-old Thai man identified by police only as “Ekarat.” The British man is accused of committing violent sexual acts against at least eight underage boys in Phuket, and his Thai son is charged with engaging minors in sexual abuse, the Phuket News reported.

David Young had lived on the east coast of Phuket for about 10 years. He was in the real estate business, buying and selling land and buildings, namely villas with a swimming pool. He retired a year ago and no longer worked. The 78-year-old man is a widower and his wife was a New Zealand citizen. Their two sons are currently in New Zealand, Assistant National Police Chief Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn told a news conference on the investigation.

Young came to Thailand in 1999, and during his stay became well known in the Pa Khlok community for his charitable and community work to help local residents in need. “He was loved by everyone in the village and was known for giving money to children, especially boys,” Surachate continued.

Police were first alerted to indecent acts against children in the Pa Clock area in December 2020, but the investigation stalled because villagers refused to cooperate with police because most of them were receiving help from Young, the assistant national police chief said. It wasn’t until this year, on March 15, that a local public charity, For Freedom International Foundation, brought a parent of a 13-year-old boy to file a formal complaint against Young with the Thalang police.

A criminal complaint No. 156/2565 resulted in an arrest warrant being issued for Young on March 18, Lt. Gen. The investigation found that 10 children were brought to the British man’s home. Police were able to confirm that eight of those children, all boys, had been abused. Police found evidence of a total of 19 incidents of sexual abuse. Five more children living in the area are currently being questioned, Surachate added.

The 13-year-old whose testimony led to Young’s arrest confirmed that Young’s 32-year-old adopted son, Ekarat, posing as a swim coach, persuaded the boy to go to the British man’s house to learn to swim in the pool, where the teen was sexually abused. Surveillance footage at the house confirmed that Ekarat lured the boy into the house at about 2:30 p.m. on March 14, Lt. Gen. The investigation resulted in an arrest warrant for Ekarat on Saturday, April 16, and the suspect was arrested the same day, he added.

Phuket police are still investigating to bring charges against Young and Ekarat for taking a child under 15 from his parents or guardians without sufficient cause to commit indecent acts, and for committing indecent acts against children under 15.

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