Police are investigating widespread reports that an American man who was charged with multiple instances of child sexual abuse had escaped to Thailand and used a fake identity to work as an English teacher in Khon Kaen and Rayong provinces for years.
Pol General Pongrit Kongsirisombat, provincial police commander, said he wanted to be sure of the accuracy of the reports.
Pongrit was responding to reports that went viral on social media about the whereabouts of Jackson Mathew Hall, 26, who was reportedly charged in the US over several alleged child sex assaults. Social media conversations claimed that Hall is now in Thailand and working as a teacher under a false name.
Citing the need to protect children, Bangkok-based Friends of Women Foundation is leading the campaign to find Hall, who it said was using the name Tyler Smith.
The Foundation urged in its Facebook page for anyone who spotted Hall to report him to police.
According to US online Texas newspaper myStatesman, Hall is from Alabama, where he faced charges in both Cullman and Madison counties when he fled the United States. A Cullman County assistant district attorney in Huntsville said that Hall faked his own death to escape the charges.
Hall came to the attention of Thailand’s authorities in March, when the family of a woman named Nittaya Polseepim reported her missing and she was taking a man, who called himself Tyler Smith, to a teaching job in |Rayong.
“It is believed that Smith is really Hall, according to the Biriram Times,” wrote myStateman online. “Polseepim, who was reportedly in a relationship with Smith, may be helping him evade arrest, Thai Visa online site reported.”
Nittaya’s family is concerned for her safety. The missing woman’s ex-husband, South African resident Darron Beetge, also posted several photos of a man who looks like Hall on Facebook last month. In the post, he called Hall an “American pedo fugitive”.
Beetege wrote that he got a message from the police that they believe that he may be using copies of another teacher’s documents.
The online myStatesman wrote: “Hall was indicted in November 2014 in Cullman County on charges of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy, the Cullman Times said. Those charges stem from the alleged sexual assault of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter.”
“His bond on those charges was revoked in April 2015 after he was accused of exposing himself to a delivery woman in Morgan County,” myStatesman reported.
Hall was freed from jail the following June when he was indicted in Madison County on an aggravated child abuse charge for allegedly hitting a child, reported the Cullman Times.