Vietnamese top cop arrested for alleged rape of teen girl

By Giang Chinh   October 4, 2018 | 06:55 pm PT
Vietnamese top cop arrested for alleged rape of teen girl
A schoolgirl in northern Vietnam has reported being gang raped by a group of men including a police officer. Illustration photo by AFP
A senior police officer and three other men have been arrested for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl in northern Vietnam.

A Thai Binh Province police source said Colonel Pham Van Lam, 46, deputy chief of the province's Economic Police Department, and Pham Minh Tuyen, 47, were taken in Thursday for questioning.

Two other men, Pham Nhu Hien and Pham Duc Viet, both 44, had been arrested earlier for allegedly "engaging in sexual intercourse or other sexual activities with a person aged from 13 to under 16" and "molestation of a person under 16."

The police said they received a complaint from the girl’s family on September 2 that she had gone out with her friends and hadn’t returned home for several days and was not reachable by phone.

The police began a search operation, but meanwhile she returned home in a weakened and traumatized state.

She said she had been gang raped by the men at a hotel on Tran Nhan Tong Street.

The police are investigating.

The United Nations said last year that one in four children in Vietnam is a victim of abuse and at least 1,300 cases of sexual violence against children are reported each year.

While official statistics are unavailable, the U.N. estimates the true numbers are consistently alarming.

In Vietnam, sexual intercourse with children under 16 is a crime punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 years. Perpetrators face death penalty if the act is deemed as rape by an organized group.

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