Thai Resort Offers to Drop Lawsuit Against Jailed American Guest if He Apologizes for Bad Reviews

Getty Koh Chang island in Thailand

Thailand’s Sea View Koh Chang resort says it will drop the criminal defamation suit it filed against an American guest, as long as he apologizes for the negative reviews and makes amends.

Over the weekend, the Associated Press reported that the hotel, located on the island of Koh Chang, emailed them a statement saying they “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.”

Last month, Wesley Barnes, a U.S. citizen who lives in the Asian country, posted a series of Tripadvisor reviews slamming the Sea View Koh Chang resort, prompting the hotel to take legal action against him. The resort issued a complaint to local police citing Thailand’s defamation laws.

Barnes was taken into custody and stayed behind bars for a weekend as he was

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American Could Face Prison Time in Thailand for Posting Negative Tripadvisor Reviews of Resort

An American living in Thailand says he could face up to two years in prison for posting negative reviews of a resort, multiple outlets report.



a bridge over a body of water: Getty Koh Chang island in Thailand


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Getty Koh Chang island in Thailand

According to The New York Times, Wesley Barnes, a U.S. citizen who lives in the Asian country, posted a series of Tripadvisor reviews slamming the Sea View Koh Chang resort located on the island of Koh Chang, prompting the hotel to take action against him. The resort issued a complaint to local police citing Thailand’s defamation laws.



a bridge over a body of water: Koh Chang island in Thailand


© Getty
Koh Chang island in Thailand

Barnes was taken into custody earlier this month and stayed behind bars for a weekend as he was booked on a Saturday and couldn’t post bail until that Monday, the outlet reports.

It was not immediately clear if Barnes has an attorney.

Both parties issued statements to travel blogger Richard

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American in Thailand faces possibility of jail time for negative resort reviews

An American man in Thailand could face up to two years in prison after posting negative reviews about a resort online.



a group of clouds in the sky over a body of water


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Wesley Barnes, who currently lives in Thailand, made a visit to the Sea View Koh Chang resort and was unhappy about a $15 corkage fee he was faced with when he brought his own bottle of gin with him to the getaway’s restaurant.

Barnes acknowledged in his review that the fee was waived but added that after seeing an aggressive interaction between a manager at the establishment and one of its employees, “there was some master/slave mentality going on.”

He also posted multiple reviews on TripAdvisor and Google in relation to the incident, giving the resort the lowest rating possible.

Thailand has strong defamation laws, which means reviewers can face hefty consequences for voicing their displeasure. Barnes was arrested on Saturday and spent the

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American Could Face Prison in Thailand After Posting Negative Reviews of a Resort

An American man who lives in Thailand was unhappy that a resort hotel wanted to charge him a $15 corkage fee for bringing his own bottle of gin to the restaurant. He argued with a manager and then later did what has become second nature for disgruntled tourists: He posted negative reviews of the resort online.

The hotel, the Sea View Koh Chang resort on the island of Koh Chang, was equally unhappy with the guest and what it saw as his one-man campaign to damage its reputation. Unable to reach him or halt his posts on TripAdvisor, the resort filed a complaint with the Thai police under the country’s harsh defamation law.

As a result, the guest, Wesley Barnes, was arrested this month and spent a weekend in jail. If convicted of criminal defamation, he faces up to two years in prison.

If the Sea View was hoping to

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