Underage Sex in Thailand by ronru
Posted by RealDaffyDuck on October 29, 2013
Preface: There are many sex tourists coming to Thailand every year looking specifically for boys. In this post I refer at all times to girls but needless to say that the law equally applies to sex with under-aged boys.
If you engage in any kind of sexual activity with anyone who is even one day younger than age 18, then you are committing an extremely serious crime in Thailand. The consequences will be devastating, and your life is quite likely to be absolutely destroyed. At best, if you are caught, you might be able to bribe your way out of it if you have enough cash with you, and we’re talking about a minimum of US $5000, and probably much more than that by the time you’re through. Don’t count on being able to bribe your way out of it at all, though. As they say in the west, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Whether you agree with it or not, the laws about sex with minors in Thailand are quite strict and if you are caught, now you have a big problem.
In order to attract more customers, some bars have taken to employing under age go-go girls, some as young as 13 to 15 years old. Some, and just a very few, are even engaged in prostitution involving girls much younger. Girls that young don’t work in the bar. “Other arrangements” are made.
Many sex tourists come to Thailand under the assumption that virtually anything goes. Wrong! If you enter a bar and do nothing more than watch these girls dancing, or call one over to sit with you, then there is no problem. You haven’t taken the girl from the place. That’s not your problem. That’s the bar’s problem and they are paying plenty in bribes in order to get away with it. However, if you bar fine the girl or make any other kind of arrangement to meet her for sexual activity, then you are putting yourself at very serious risk.
Many farang are simply unaware that they have bar fined an under-age girl. Many might be unaware, even if they know the girl is younger than 18, that they are doing anything illegal. They simply assume that if they have taken a girl from a bar, then it is perfectly legitimate, no matter how young the girl happens to be. Wonderful. Tell that to the police when they enter your room. You can tell them your story . . . all the way to the jail.
I once witnessed a farang who tried to enter my hotel with an under-age girl. The desk clerk insisted on looking at the girl’s ID card. The farang was unabashed when the desk clerk said, “This girl is only 15 years old.” When the clerk then said, “She is not permitted to enter the hotel,” the farang lost his temper and demanded to be allowed to take this girl to his room. The clerk told him no. The farang then demanded to see the hotel owner. The clerk told him, truthfully, “The owner is not in, but even if he was here, he would not allow you to take this girl in the hotel.” The farang tried to barge his way past the clerk anyway. The clerk told him, and he meant it, “If you take this girl to your room, I will call the police myself.” End of incident. The disgruntled farang checked out of the hotel in a rage. He was lucky, but he never realized it. He almost certainly would have ended up caught by the police, and the results would have been a hell of a lot worse than having his sexual dynamite defused for one night. Who knows? Maybe this farang didn’t know that having an under-age girl is illegal. Maybe he thought the desk clerk was just being difficult. In any case, that desk clerk had actually done him a great favor, but I doubt he’ll ever understand that.
Many sex tourists want younger girls, and the bar owners want the business. Some also actually believe that they are helping these girls. Upstairs in the bar, the girls get a room, rather than having to rent an apartment and they pay the bar 100 baht per month for it. They share the room with several other girls, get their food, plus their salary. From the point of view of several of these girls, they have hit the jackpot. The bar owners are well aware that arrests are taking place, but that doesn’t happen often and if the farang want these girls, and if the farangs are willing to put themselves at risk to get what they want, then that’s not their problem. Ask a bar owner who employs under-aged girls if he believes he is being fair to farangs who come and are truly unaware that they are breaking a law by taking one of these girls. His answer most likely will be that if a farang comes to Thailand, then it is his responsibility to know the law and obey it, not his. This is the way these guys see it.
The bar owners who are engaged in this are not warning their customers about the risks and also most farang who bar fine these girls do not get caught. The police are catching just a small percentage of these people. I wonder if you think that the odds against getting caught justifies the risk. Do you really think it’s worth it?
Such an arrest has dire consequences. The police officer will enter your room. It won’t matter if anything sexual is taking place or not. The fact that you are alone in your room with an under-age girl is sufficient to justify an arrest. The humiliation of that, itself, would be horrible. You will be in a terrible situation, in which no mercy will be shown, alone, in a dilapidated jail cell, reeking of filth, imprisoned by people who speak only limited English. You might demand to call your embassy. If you have been arrested for this type of sex crime, nobody is going to play any games. Your embassy won’t help you at all. As a matter of fact, calling your embassy might even cause you further problems. Most countries now have reciprocity laws in which such an arrest will bring additional charges against you at home. If you are not able to bribe your way out of your problems, now you are going to be faced with enormously expensive legal fees. You’ll have to hire a Thai attorney to help you, and it will cost a fortune. There will only be just so much he can do. Even if the attorney can arrange bail for you, the fee will be gigantic. If you somehow manage to get out of the country, you’ll be arrested at home, where you will either face charges or possible extradition proceedings. No matter what, it will not be a problem that goes away.
Thailand is a “guilty until proven innocent” country. If you have to remain in jail until your trial, it can take a year, or longer, before your case will even begin to proceed. Imagine what a third-world jail is like. Can you imagine the facilities, the filth, the food, the odors, the people you would be with, etc? It would be beyond horrible. Unless you can prove that you did nothing illegal, the jail sentence could be ten years, or longer. It all depends on what the judge decides to do. There would be almost nothing you could do to appeal such a conviction. Once you are finally able to leave Thailand, you would be banned from ever being able to return, not that you would want to after such an experience.
It is really quite simple to avoid anything like this happening to you. First, if sex with minors appeals to you, don’t go to Thailand. Don’t do it. Sooner or later you’ll be caught. Second, check the girl’s ID card. Thailand uses the oriental calendar. This year (2009) is 2552. Therefore, the girl’s ID card must show that she was born in the year 2534, or earlier. Any number higher than 2534 means the girl is under-age. No matter where you meet the girl, whether it is at a bar, on the streets, at the beach, or anywhere else, make sure to check her ID card before you take her to a room with you. If she claims she doesn’t have one, don’t take her. Perhaps the girl is Laotian, working illegally in Thailand. That’s not your problem. That’s her problem. However, you still need to be sure that she is at least 18. Don’t rely on simply asking the girl how old she is. Some girls will lie about their age. If you have any doubt, don’t take her. The law still applies, whether she is a Thai citizen or not. If she has no ID card, but you wish to bar fine her from a bar, at least verify her age with the bar owner or the mamasan. If there is no kind of documentation available at all, then you are at serious risk. If you take her anyway, make sure to have the desk clerk at your hotel question the girl. The desk clerks know all the bullshit that takes place. If the desk clerk says there is no problem, you can believe that. If he says that there is a problem, get rid of the girl . . . quick. It also couldn’t hurt anything, even if the girl showed you what you perceived to be a legitimate ID card, to have the desk clerk check it anyway. If the girl is carrying a fake ID, the desk clerk will know it. The police will not be sympathetic at all, even if you were duped by a fake ID. If it were me, and I found that I had innocently bar fined an under-age girl, or a girl carrying a fake ID, I’d be right back at that bar demanding the money refunded.
The bottom line is the same as always. Use common sense and good judgment. Think with your head, not your groin. There is absolutely no need to succumb to a temptation to have sex with anyone under-age. There are so many magnificent looking girls available who are legal that anything else is unnecessary. If sex with someone so young appeals to you, it is easy to go to the different bars. You’re certain to find girls of legal age who look many years younger than they actually are. In any case, the most important thing of all is don’t take a girl to your room unless you make sure that she is of legal age.
You can go to Thailand and have a fabulous time, without any risk at all, provided you obey the laws. You do not have to be afraid of anything. Just use good sense and exercise proper caution, and you will have no problems at all. It is only those who are willfully seeking out sex with minors who end up in jail.
A Thai attorney wrote the following in response to inquiry regarding sex with minors in Thailand.
Consorting with minor under 18 years of age, with or without the consent of the minor, is a criminal offense. Section 319 of the Penal Code reads:
“Whoever takes away from the parent a minor over fifteen years, but not yet over eighteen years of age, guardian or person looking after such minor for financial gain or indecent purposes with the consent of such minor, shall be punished with imprisonment of two to ten years and a fine of four thousand to twenty thousand baht.”
Now your argument could be that the child is not looked after by a parent or guardian, but instead is working in a bar or roaming around the street, thus you are not taking him or her away.
However, Thailand being a party to the Treaty of Child Protection is committed automatically to be the guardian of the street or unclaimed children. Therefore you may be “taking away” the child from the protection of the state.
Also, there is a petty offense for those who encourage children to do “inappropriate acts” for which the penalty may be minor, but you will have trouble going through the Thai judicial system.
My recommendation is: stick to those over 18 years old for your own sake.