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Principal arrested for student sexual abuse

Update: August, 24/2019 - 08:30
Đinh Bằng My. — Photo

PHÚ THỌ — A secondary school principal in Phú Thọ Province has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting several students at his school, police announced on Thursday.

Đinh Bằng My, former principal of a boarding school, was accused of sexual intercourse with minors under 16. He was previously charged with child molestation without intent to have intercourse in December 2018 but was released on bail.

The scandal was brought to light late last year when an investigation by Vietnam Television (VTV) found the 58-year-old principal took advantage of his position to call many male students to his office for so-called study checks. These checks occurred from the end of 2016 until December 2018.

VTV exposed the scandal by secretly filming the boys recalling the abuse. While the children spoke to reporters voluntarily, they were unaware they were being recorded.

Some of the seven victims claimed My forced them to perform sex acts on him.

My allegedly gave the boys some sweets or cash of between VNĐ20,000 and VNĐ50,000 (90 US cents-$2) each time, telling them to keep quiet.

My’s victims ranged from 7th to 9th graders with the youngest only 13-years-old at the time. Some were sexually abused several times over a long period of time, according to police.

Most of the students at the school where the scandal took place came from poor ethnic minority families.  

The investigation is ongoing but if found guilty, My faces up to 15 years behind bars.

Former prosecutor jailed

On the same day, HCM City’s District 4 People’s Court sentenced Nguyễn Hữu Linh to 18 months in jail for molesting a child under 16 years old in accordance with Article 146 of 2015 Penal Code.

Linh was a former deputy head of Đà Nẵng City People’s Procuracy.

According to the indictment, the incident occurred on the evening of April 1 in the elevator of the Galaxy 9 apartment building in District 4 where Linh was visiting his son and the girl in question was returning home to the 10th floor.

There were only two of them in the elevator and Linh is alleged to have suddenly grabbed the girl and started kissing her despite her resistance.

The girl was only able to escape when the elevator opened. The assault was recorded by a security camera.

The girl told her parents about the incident and her family asked to see the elevator camera footage, which showed Linh had behaved inappropriately.

Linh has met the girl’s family to apologise for his actions.

But a video clip of the scene appeared on the internet the next day and aroused public anger.

On April 21, HCM City’s District 4 Police started legal proceedings against Linh.

The People's Court of District 4 on June 25 opened the first-instance hearing on the case. However, after a two-hour closed hearing, the panel decided to return the file for further investigation to clarify the evidence against Linh.

After conducting further investigation, the Police and District’s procuracy have completed documents and decided to uphold the prosecution against him on charge of molestation of a person under 16 under 2015 Penal Code.— VNS 

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