A self-described Belarusian sex coach pleaded not guilty in a Thai court on Monday to charges of soliciting prostitution and conspiracy to form a criminal syndicate that could land her a maximum of 17 years in prison.
The case of Anastasia Vashukevich attracted widespread media attention six months ago when Thai police arrested her and nine other foreigners during a raid on their sex-training course in Pattaya, south of Bangkok. Two were deported.
“They pleaded not guilty and are ready to defend themselves against the charges,” Worasit Piriyawiboon, a lawyer with knowledge of the case, told BenarNews.
“They originally intended to plead guilty to lesser jail terms, but they made a last-minute about face, pleading innocent to fight the case,” Worasit said, adding that Vashukevich and co-detainee Aleksandr Kirillov had hired a new lawyer who agreed with their decision. BenarNews was unable to contact the lawyer.
A Pattaya provincial court judge declared that if the seminar had included people having sexual intercourse or arranged for people to have sex, it would be considered illegal by Thai law even if there was mutual consent. Lawyers will submit legal submissions at another hearing on Aug. 27, when the court is expected to set a date for testimony to begin, according to the Associated Press.
Kirillov, the organizer of the seminar, told the judge that the course was about the art of seduction and how to impress men and women, and it did not involve sexual activity.
When prosecutors showed a photo of students having sexual intercourse, Vashukevich cried, Worasit said.
Full story: BenarNews
Copyright ©2018, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.