Man who took dead model to his room arrested on sexual assault charges: police

Police escort Rachadech Wongthabutr on Tuesday night in Bangkok. Photo: Police News
Police escort Rachadech Wongthabutr on Tuesday night in Bangkok. Photo: Police News

Police this morning arrested Rachadech Wongthabutr, the male model at the center of a sordid tale that’s riveted the kingdom, and charged him with sexually assaulting the woman found dead in his condo lobby.

Rachadech was arrested at about 5am after the Thonburi Criminal Court approved a warrant on three charges including false imprisonment and sexual assault, metro police chief Sutthipong Wongpin said at a Wednesday morning police briefing. He said the 25-year-old man maintains he did nothing wrong.

Update: Police arrest Lunlabelle party hosts after 2nd ‘pretty’ alleges rape there

Evidence released by the police suggests Rachadech spent at least six hours with the lifeless body of Thitim “Bell” Noraphanpiphat, including the time he had her in his room. Pressed by reporters to pin down details of the sexual assault allegation, Sutthipong said that evidence supported her being assaulted but did not go into details.

Amid accusations that the hosts who hired Thitim on the day of her death abused her and possibly other women, Sutthipong said that more arrests may be coming if anyone else is found to have played a role in the death of the woman, widely known as Lunlabelle.

“Right now we are arresting [Rachadech]. … We are also investigating others present at the party in Bang Bua Thong district to see if anyone else can be held legally responsible for Lunlabelle’s death,” Sutthipong said.

From left, the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s regional chief Samrit Tongtao and chief Sutthipong Wongpin at a Wednesday morning news conference.
From left, the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s regional chief Samrit Tongtao and chief Sutthipong Wongpin at a Wednesday morning news conference.

Thitim, a popular promotional model known as a pretty, was found dead in the wee hours of Sept. 17 in the lobby of Rachadech’s condominium. He denied any wrongdoing and said he’d taken her home with him from the party, where they had both been hired to entertain, because she was too drunk to tell him where she lived.

Pretty Girls Taking Risks: Inside the world of Thailand’s models for hire

On Tuesday, police announced that she had died between 3pm and 7pm on Sept. 16, meaning she was already deceased for at least six hours before Rachadech left her body in his lobby.

Updated interactive timeline

Related:

‘Pretty’ Lunlabelle was dead all night, long before her body left in lobby: police

Police move to charge Rachadech with charges related to model’s death

In final hours, Bangkok model left trail of clues (Interactive Timeline)

Sinister messages emerge as birthday-funeral held for Thai model

Dead model left in lobby likely sexually assaulted, examination finds

 

 

 

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