Ministry puts finishing touches on filmed grope case

Video taken by a hidden camera installed in a Public Health Ministry office in Nonthaburi province allegedly shows a supervisor groping a female staff member. (Photo captured from video on Amarin TV)

The permanent secretary for health has confirmed that the probe on a health supervisor’s alleged molestation of a female temporary employee under the permanent secretary’s office will be concluded in the next week.

After the fact-finding investigation, a disciplinary probe panel would be set up right away to handle the case, Dr Sophon Mekthon, the permanent secretary, said on Sunday.

He was responding to reports that a 30-year-old female temporary employee under the jurisdiction of the health permanent secretary’s office had been molested by her superior. Starting in 2014, he was said to have repeatedly stroked her breasts, and threatened that her yearly contract would not be renewed if she resisted.

Dr Sophon said that he received  early this month and already transferred the accused official to the provincial health office of Nonthaburi pending the investigation’s completion. The fact-finding committee comprised a disciplinary director of the permanent secretary’s office and two legal affairs officials.

He said that the complainant should not be worried because the Public Health Ministry ensured fairness and any wrongdoer would be punished.

Dr Sophon also said that all health officials could file complaints about mistreatment as the ministry adhered to good governance.

The temporary employee reportedly had tolerated the molestation until the superior, a married man with no children, grabbed her in a headlock and stroked her breasts in full view of her colleagues.

Then she and several colleagues managed to hide a camera in his office to capture the harassment on video, and then filed the complaint.

A news report shows the alleged groping episode at 1:25 into the video. (Video YouTube/AMARIN TVHD)

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