American Woman Was Sexually Assaulted By Thai Man After Falling Off Cliff

A Thai man has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a New York woman as she lay helpless after breaking her back in a cliff fall.

Hannah Gavios, 23, was working in Vietnam but taking a vacation on the Thai island of Krabi at the start of September when the incident took place.

She was out exploring, but went into a tourist shop to ask for directions back to her hotel when she got lost.

Apai Ruangwong, 28, said he would guide her back. Instead, he led her into a jungle.

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Ruangwong then became violent and lashed out at her. Hannah fought back and managed to run off, but in the darkness she stumbled over rocks and fell 150 feet down a cliff.

She fractured her spine and screamed in pain. It was there Ruangwong found her and subjected her to several hours of sexual assault.

DailyMail.com reports Hannah said at the time,

I honestly thought I was going to die. I hit my head a few times and landed on a big bump. I was screaming in pain. It was the most painful thing ever. I felt like a total vegetable. I felt completely vulnerable. I couldn't move anything.

She continued,

I was stuck with this crazy person. I was in the woods in the bushes with wild snakes crawling on me while he was still continuing to harass me. He got on top of me. He didn't rape me, but he did everything else.

Eventually, he left the scene and returned in the morning with other men who helped rescue Hannah and take her to hospital.

The New York Times reports Ruangwong was originally sentenced to ten years in prison, but had his sentence halved after he pleaded guilty to obscene behavior and causing serious injury.


Hannah's mother, Gwen Gavois, slammed the sentence. She said,

I am dismayed that it is automatically cut down to five years because of a guilty plea.

Gwen has launched a GoFundMe page for her daughter in a bid to raise money for her medical expenses.

So far more, than $90,000 has been raised.

Hannah has been transferred to a hospital in New York. Her recovery is expected to take up to two years.

Citations: The New York Times, DailyMail.com, Metro