Eight Held on Rape Charges

A 15-year-old is accused of leading a high profile web rape ring in Vietnam.
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A cyclist rides past a row of karaoke bars in Hanoi on May 11, 2009.
A cyclist rides past a row of karaoke bars in Hanoi on May 11, 2009.

Police in Vietnam are holding eight Hanoi youth they say have admitted to using online chat rooms to lure teenage girls to hotel rooms in the capital where they robbed and raped them.

The gang was led by a 15-year-old girl named Dao Thi Thu Huong, known as “Wolf,” and her 19-year-old boyfriend Trinh Thang Long, according to the English website of the official Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The rest of the accused include Nguyen Xuan Thang, Nguyen Duc Hoang, Le Quang Vinh, Au The Doan, Hoang Trong Dat, and Tran Hoang Nam—males who range in age from 19 to 23, according to the report.

Huong and Long are accused of making “acquaintances with teen girls via chats on [the] Internet,” convincing them to go out with them, and later “forc[ing] them into hotel rooms where the other male members of the gang raped them and then robbed their assets,” Tuoi Tre said.

Bui Van Dai, the head of the investigation team, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur that police had completed their inquiry and that prosecutors would now begin a review of the case to decide whether it should go to court.

“They have sincerely admitted all of their crimes,” he said.

Crime spree

The group had allegedly gang raped five victims aged 15-25, beginning with 25-year-old Pham Thi K on July 16 last year.

After forcing her into a hotel and raping her several times, the newspaper said, the gang stole 200,000 dong (U.S. $10) and her mobile phone before she was able to escape.

Tuoi Tre said the gang later carried out four other crimes over the following several days, in which they abducted, beat, raped and robbed their victims.

In total, the gang is estimated to have stolen 30 million dong (U.S.$1,440) of cash and property, including motorbikes, mobile phones, and jewelry.

Most of them have been charged with rape, rape of a minor, and robbery.

The case has raised fears in Vietnamese society over perceived increase in youth violence and crime and breakdown of traditional family values as the economy undergoes rapid development.

Reported by Joshua Lipes and news agencies.





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