Hanoi – A Vietnamese court in the central province of Binh Dinh sentenced nine people to prison terms for having or arranging paid sex with juveniles as young as 14 years old, a court official said Tuesday. “This is the most serious case relating to sex with juveniles ever in our province,” said judge Le Xuan Hai of the Quy Nhon City People’s Court in Binh Dinh.
He said all nine of the accused had confessed. They were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to seven years.
Three men, businessmen Tran The Vinh, 47, and Le Van Yen, 56, and post office accountant Nguyen Van Ngoc, 55, were sentenced to seven years each for paying for sexual intercourse with a total of 24 teenagers ranging from 14 to 17.
According to the indictment, Ngoc patronized a restaurant frequented by sex workers who introduced him to Le Thi My Loan, a sex broker who arranged liaisons with the teenagers.
Ngoc brought in his friends Vinh and Yen. The liaisons occurred between 2005 and 2008, with the customers paying at least 150 dollars for each encounter.
Six other teenagers, between ages 17 and 19, received sentences of two to five years in prison for acting as agents to connect the three men and teenage sex workers.
Under Vietnamese law, having sexual intercourse with more than one juvenile under the age of 16 is punishable by 12 years to life imprisonment. Paying for sexual intercourse with juveniles under 18 is punishable by up to five years in prison, as is acting as a broker to manipulate juveniles into engaging in paid sex against their will.