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Thailand revokes visa of Russian pianist accused of rape

By the CNN Wire Staff
Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev is accused of raping a 14-year-old boy.
Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev is accused of raping a 14-year-old boy.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Exception allows Pletnev to enter the country while his case is pending
  • He is accused of raping a 14-year-old boy in Thailand
  • His visa was revoked because the immigration bureau believes he's a threat
  • Even if the charges are eventually dropped, he will be deported from Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- Thailand has revoked the visa of a Russian pianist accused of raping a 14-year-old boy, an immigration official said Thursday.

Thailand's immigration bureau revoked the visa of Mikhail Pletnev because it believes he poses threats to the country, according to Maj. Gen. Pansak Kasemsan.

The development means that even if the charges against Pletnev are eventually dropped, he will be deported from the country. Although the revocation of the visa is already in place, an exception allows him to enter the country while his case is pending.

Pletnev was arrested and charged July 6 with raping the teenage boy in the Thai beach town of Pattaya, where he owns a house. The crime carries a maximum prison term of 20 years.

The judge released him on a $9,000 bail until the criminal charges against him are resolved, with the provision that he return to the seaside town of Pattaya every 12 days to renew the conditions of the bail.

That means Pletnev can travel abroad as long as he continues to make his court dates.

Pletnev was in Thailand on Monday and is due back in the country on July 30. His attorney said he left the country Wednesday to see his mother for her 89th birthday.

Thailand remains a destination for child migrants, many of whom enter the sex tourism industry, according to the Child Protection and Development Center.

"Pattaya in particular has developed an international reputation for child sex tourism," the nongovernmental organization says on its website about the town two hours south of Bangkok.

"Anti-trafficking researchers targeting street children estimate that Pattaya hosts about 1,500 to 2,000 homeless and impoverished children per year, while numbers are increasing. Children search for work, migrating -- alone or with their families -- from Thailand's northeast provinces, Cambodia, Burma, Laos and Vietnam."

CNN's Kocha Olarn contributed to this report.