This story (via) borders on the unbelievable, but it appears to be legit.
A 20-year old British woman named Samantha Orobator was arrested in Laos for allegedly smuggling heroin into the country. She has been imprisoned, awaiting trial, ever since. If convicted, she faces death by firing squad. In the intervening five months, she got pregnant. Given that she's been in jail the whole time, the logical conclusion is that she's been raped while stashed away in "one of Asia's most squalid jails."
She's been given a choice:
The 20-year-old goes on trial this week and will be asked to declare publicly that she was not raped in Phonthong prison, one of Asia's most squalid jails.In other words, if she's willing to lie about being raped, she can save her life. How civilized. That would never happen in the United States, would it? Oh:
If Orobator co-operates, she will be transferred from Laos to a UK prison under a new treaty signed between the two countries on Thursday. If not, her trial will be postponed and she will return to jail in Laos.
If she faces trial again after the birth of her child, she will not have the immunity from execution that pregnancy gives her under the Laos penal code.
In 1987, a jury in Billings, Mont., found that an 18-year-old named Jimmy Ray Bromgard had raped an 8-year-old girl. On the witness stand and afterward, Mr. Bromgard insisted he was innocent.No, no, I'm not saying one is as bad as the other. But they both suck pretty bad.
Judge G. Todd Baugh said this suggested a lack of remorse, and he sentenced Mr. Bromgard to 40 years.
In prison, Mr. Bromgard declined to participate in group therapy sessions for sex offenders.
'I would have had to admit my guilt,' he said. 'I'd rather sit there in prison for all my life than admit my guilt.'
That decision did not sit well with the parole board, which denied his application for an early release in 2000, citing his refusal to take part in the sessions.
It turns out Mr. Bromgard was telling the truth. DNA evidence cleared him, and he was released from prison last month. He is now 33 and spent about half of his life in prison.
So who is the father of Orobator's unborn child? The Laotian authorties have a theory:
Laotian leaders are sensitive to suggestions Orobator might have been raped in jail.Hey, it's worked before.
'We don't want the world to blame us,' Mr Nuanthasing said.
Asked who fathered the baby, Mr Nuanthasing said: 'It is a mystery - maybe it is a baby from the sky.'