A German backpacker has spoken of her rape ordeal on a Thai island as her attacker was jailed for two years and eight months without parole.
Florentina Retka, 24, had taken a solo trip to the Southeast Asian country where she booked a tour around the tropical island of Koh Chang with local guide Kasama Apichaisompon, 55, in February this year.
But the cruise ship worker said she began to feel uncomfortable when he took her to an isolated beach with no other tourists around.
Florentina said she was paddling in the sea when the Thai native grabbed her from behind before pulling aside her swimsuit and penetrating her in the water.
Frozen with fear, she was too afraid to scream or fight back ‘in case he killed me’.
Florentina pictured on holiday in Thailand shortly before the attack in February this year
Florentina bravely shared her story and urged women not to travel alone in Thailand
After the attack on February 15, the rapist dropped Florentina back at her hotel resort. She said she collapsed in tears and confided in her family before she filed a police report at the local station on February 17.
Kasama turned himself in at the Koh Chang Police Station on the same day and on November 30 was finally sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.
Bravely waiving her right to anonymity, the holidaymaker broke down in tears as she recounted the ordeal – and warned other lone female tourists to avoid the country.
She said: ‘I was isolated on a beach with nobody around. He forced himself on me and raped me. How could I have fought back? He could have killed me. He took something from me that day, my dignity, my respect.
‘I feel safe now that he’s finally behind bars.’
Florentina said that she had travelled alone to other countries and always felt safe, ‘even in the Middle East’. Her parents had warned her against travelling to Thailand because of its reputation for attacks and unexplained deaths.
She arrived in the country and was happy until she booked a day trip through a local shop on the island of Koh Chang, a short boat ride from the mainland in the south of the country.
There were no other holidaymakers in the minivan, leaving her at the mercy of the predator.
Florentina added: ‘We went to a waterfall and swam there, but I noticed he had part of his penis exposed and he was touching himself. I looked away and pretended I didn’t see anything.
‘I picked up all of my clothes, then he said we would go to the “Long Beach”. And I was thinking ‘Okay, Long Beach, it’s like a Long Beach and beautiful’.
‘He took me there and there was no signal on my phone. There were no people, there were no restaurants, no hotels, nothing.
‘And I went swimming and he came from the back and took me like this and he didn’t let me down, and I looked at him like ‘what are you doing?
‘I said “I don’t want this”. I said that one thousand times: “What are you doing? I don’t want this”.’
‘And he didn’t care about it, he just took my pants off and pushed me.
‘What can I do as a tourist? What? I’m alone, It was my first time in Thailand. I didn’t know the place where he took me. No people that I could scream to, no telephone because we were on the beach. What can I do? Slap him? Maybe he will kill me.
‘I didn’t know that person, I couldn’t see into his mind, but I was thinking, “Why is he doing this, why does it hurt so much, very much.”‘
Local guide Kasama Apichaisompon, 55, was jailed for two years and eight months
She booked a day trip through a local shop on the island of Koh Chang while passing through
Florentina said that at first she had been too traumatised to tell anyone. She was also afraid her parents would be angry at her, as they had told her not to go on holiday in Asia.
However, a couple of days later her mother noticed on a video call that ‘something was wrong’. Locals then helped her to make a police report at the local station.
Breaking down in tears, Florentina said she felt the ordeal had stripped her of her dignity.
She said: ‘I always cry because he took some energy from me. He took my body. He took my respect.
‘At the police station, he was very strong and he said ‘look at the pictures from that day, you’re always happy’. But even when I’m crying, I can still smile.
‘I felt scared and afraid after this happened, I went to my hotel and just called my best friend and I told him everything. I kept my a video call open with him while I slept, because I was afraid the attack would come back.’
Despite the experience, Florentina said she was grateful for the help she received from the local and tourist police. However, she advised women not to travel alone to Thailand.
She said: ‘They did everything for me. They helped me so much. They fetched me and took me back to the hotel. They drove me everywhere. Even now, they are writing to me asking if everything is okay. They made me feel so safe.
‘Just take care if you’re booking a tour or day trip, if you have to go alone with the guy, just don’t go alone. Book it for another day, don’t go with them because you can’t trust one person. It’s better to trust no one.
‘And in Thailand, traveling as a woman, I think it’s better to go with two people so, even with your parents, with your friends, with your boyfriend or if you don’t have one, just don’t travel alone, it’s better.’
A spokesman for the German Embassy in Bangkok said: ‘According to telephone information from the Trat Provincial Court, the defendant was sentenced on November 30 to a prison sentence of two years and eight months without parole.’
In November this year, an American tourist claimed she was raped by a man she met on a dating app in Bangkok, Thailand. The female teacher, 24, had allegedly swiped right on the suspect Tienming He, 25, while she was browsing Tinder and agreed to see him at a bar on November 2.
While in 2018, a British teenager claimed she was raped on the notorious island of Koh Tao. Thai authorities banned her from the country and accused her of making up the incident.
Also in 2018, A 34-year-old Thai construction worker surrendered to police, two days after allegedly raping a 29-year-old New Zealand woman returning to her hostel in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district.
‘Just take care if you’re booking a tour or day trip, if you have to go alone with the guy, just don’t go alone,’ Florentina (pictured) warned fellow travellers
The young German backpacker travelled solo to Thailand in February (pictured on holiday)
Shockingly, in 2019 a young British backpacker, 21, was raped after passing out drunk on the island of Koh Phi Phi off the coast of Krabi province. A deckhand working in the area had reportedly found her at 3 am and cut open her denim shorts before raping her.
Also in 2019, a Thai man was arrested for the brutal rape and murder of German backpacker Miriam Beelte, 26, on the idyllic island of Koh Si Chang.
In August 2021, a female Swiss diplomatic worker, 57, was found ‘raped and murdered’ at the bottom of a waterfall on the island of Phuket. She was discovered lying face down in a rocky pool at the bottom of a waterfall with a black tarpaulin thrown over her body.