Ex senior cop jailed in gang rape of eighth-grade girl

By Bao Ha   April 20, 2019 | 06:23 pm PT
Ex senior cop jailed in gang rape of eighth-grade girl
Police officers in Thai Binh Province stand on guard to ensure security at the trial on Friday. Photo by VnExpress
A former senior police officer and three other men were given jail terms of 2-5 years for raping an eighth-grade girl.

A Thai Binh court found the men guilty of "engaging in sexual intercourse or other sexual activities with a person aged 13 to under 16," and "molestation of a person under 16."

Colonel Pham Van Lam, 43, former deputy chief of Thai Binh Province’s Economic Police Department, got three years in prison, while Tu Minh Tuyen, 47, and Pham Duc Viet, 44, received jail terms of two years and two years and six months in prison respectively.

The fourth person, Pham Nhu Hien, 45, identified as the gang’s leader, was sentenced to five years in prison.

According to the indictment, police began criminal investigation into a gang rape in September last year after they received a complaint from the girl’s family, saying that she had gone out with her friends and hadn’t returned home for several days and was not reachable by phone.

As the police searched for the girl, she returned home in a weakened and traumatized state.

She told the police she had been gang raped by the men at a hotel on Tran Nhan Tong Street. Based on the victim’s testimony and camera footage of the hotel, police arrested the four suspects a month later.

According to United Nations reports, approximately one in four children in Vietnam is a victim of sex abuse and at least 1,300 cases of sexual violence against children are reported each year. The organization stated that the true numbers could be higher and consistently alarming.

Having sex with a child under 13 years of age is considered rape, punishable by death under Vietnam’s Penal Code.

Vietnam recorded 1,547 child sex abuse cases in 2018, down 2.8 percent from a year ago, according to figures from the Ministry of Public Security.

However, the public and experts have repeatedly complained that persons guilty of rape and other forms of sexual harassment are receiving excessive leniency in terms of their punishment.

The latest sexual harassment case that sparked outrage involved Nguyen Huu Linh, former deputy chief prosecutor of Da Nang, who was caught on camera molesting a little girl in a Saigon apartment building’s elevator. The case is being investigated.

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