The defendant Nguyễn Trọng Thuận at court on Monday. —VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội’s People’s Court increased the sentence for Nguyễn Trọng Thuận, a ride hailing driver in Hà Nội, to 42 months in prison for raping his passenger. The decision was made at an appeal on Monday.
At the first instance trial held last December, Thuận, 39, residing in northern Bắc Giang Province’s Cao Thượng Town, was sentenced to 36 months in jail for raping a female passenger who used the ride hailing service via a mobile app.
In addition, Thuận was also required to pay nearly VNĐ160 million (US$6,905) in compensation to the victim.
The appeal opened at Thuận's request for relief from the punishment and reduction of civil compensation.
Meanwhile, the victim, a 28-year-old woman from northern Thái Nguyên Province, filed an appeal to increase the prison sentence for the defendant.
According to the first instance verdict, Thuận was married and working as a ride-hailing driver for BE Group Company.
At around 7.30pm on August 24, 2019, he received a booking from a woman to travel from Nguyễn Khang Street to Nam Trung Yên Street in Cầu Giấy District via the mobile app.
After picking up the passenger, Thuận invited the victim to have dinner with him at a restaurant in Ngọc Liệp Street in Quốc Oai District. She agreed. After they had dinner, he asked her to have sexual intercourse with him. However, the woman refused.
On the way back, Thuận pulled over on a deserted road and raped the woman.
The victim went to the police to report the incident later and Thuận was arrested.
At the appeal, the jury said the level of the sentence at the first instance handed down to the defendant was not commensurate with the serious nature of the crime, so it rejected Thuận’s appeal and decided to increase the penalty to 42 months in prison for the defendant. — VNS