exposing the dark side of adoption
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Pattaya police arrested an ageing American man on July 18, 2008, accused of having sexually abused his adopted 5-year-old daughter for two months, after the mother and relatives had reported the matter to the police.

At 9.30 pm, on July 18, Miss Orn-anong Prom-toe, (21), from Udonthani and her four relatives made a complaint to Pol.Col.Nopadol Wongnom, Pattaya Superintendent, that her daughter, Ploy (alias) (5) was being confined in a town house in Moo Baan Rungland, and was being sexually abused by her American adoptive father, Mr. Lynwood Elmer Vinum (72).

Miss Orn-anong further told police that she is currently working as a bargirl in South Pattaya. In the beginning of May, apparently, while she and her daughter were walking along the beach, Mr. Vinum had approached her and said that he loved children and would like to adopt Ploy. Mr. Vinum had offered to support the girl by paying for her education and would also pay her mother's rent, on condition that she should take Ploy to stay with him at his house in Soi Rungland, occasionally. Miss Orn-anong said that she was not really convinced, but talked over the proposal with her relatives, who live in Chacherngsao province. Mr. Vinum appeared sincere and subsequently visited her parents in Chacherngsao province, and on May 14, 2008, signed a contract before the village leader that he would take care of Ploy until he died.

Initially, Mr. Vinum kept his side of the bargain, but recently had become more insistent, asking that Ploy should stay overnight with him more frequently. Miss Orn-anong said that Mr. Vinum then effectively confined the girl to the house full-time and made it virtually impossible for her mother to have any contact. Eventually, on the afternoon of July 17, she managed to see her daughter at Mr. Vinum's house and was told by Ploy that, during the night, Mr. Vinum usually rubs his sexual organ on hers and had forced her to perform oral sex. Discovering the truth, Miss Orn-anong demanded her daughter back, but Mr. Vinum refused, so she then reported the matter to the police.  

At his house in Soi Rungland, on July 18, a police team sent to investigate, accompanied by the girl's mother and relatives, found Mr. Vinum holding Ploy's hand in front of the house. Mr.Vinum was apparently shocked to see the police and relatives. Mr. Vinum was then taken to the police station for questioning. Mr. Vinum denied confining the girl. He acknowledged that he and Miss Orn-anong had made an adoption contract relating to Ploy and for the past two months he had duly supported her education, taking her to school in Pattaya, and maintained she was well taken care of. He denied Miss Orn-anong's accusation that he had confined the girl to the house.

Pol.Col. Nopadol Wongnom, Pattaya Superintendent, told press that young Ploy had also been questioned and corroborated her mother's accusation of sexual abuse. Ploy had been sent for a physical examination at Banglamung Hospital and Mr. Vinum was being charged with child molestation.

2008 Jul 18