Thai College Shut Down After Rape

November 19, 1998

Filed at 2:26 a.m. EST

By The Associated Press
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Public outrage over the gang rape of two girls abducted from a bus has prompted the Education Ministry to temporarily close down the technical college the five suspects attend.

The rape of the girls, ages 14 and 18, has triggered soul-searching over the failure of the bus driver, the conductor and scores of passengers to interfere with the suspects when they pulled knives on the girls and forced them off the crowded bus Saturday.

The onlookers said they were too frightened to interfere. The weeping girls were taken to a house on the outskirts of Bangkok and raped.

The last of the five suspects was arrested Tuesday. In custody, they reportedly told police there was heavy peer pressure at their school to carry weapons and boast of forced sexual conquests.

The Education Ministry ordered the Buranapong Vocation College to close Tuesday for at least one month. Ministry officials said students from the school were notorious for gang fights and that teaching was substandard.

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