Thai hotel offers to drop defamation lawsuit against guest who complained if he apologizes

BANGKOK (AP) — A hotel in Thailand that filed a criminal defamation suit against a guest who posted negative reviews about it online said Friday it will drop the complaint if he makes apologies and other gestures to restore its reputation.

The lawsuit filed last month by the Sea View Koh Chang Hotel could result in up to seven years in prison for American Wesley Barnes, who teaches English in Thailand, if he is found guilty of defamation and violation of the Computer Crime Act by posting false information online. He spent two nights in jail after he was arrested before being granted bail.

The hotel was also criticized for taking such harsh action. The Sea View said it was necessary to protect its reputation and that Barnes had failed to respond to its demands that he retract his reviews on travel websites.

The hotel said in a statement emailed Friday that it “would be pleased to conclude the complaint under conditions that Mr. Barnes shows his sincerity and takes full responsibility for what had happened and remedy the situation.”

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