Four men jailed for slitting schoolgirls' dresses

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A provincial court on Saturday sentenced a 28-year-old man to ten years in jail for chasing several schoolgirls riding bicycles and slitting their dresses with blades and paperknives to expose their thighs and panties.

The defendant, Nguyen Thanh Tai of the southeastern province of Tay Ninh, also confessed to another motivation for his actions.

His girlfriend, a 12th grader at the Ly Thuong Kiet High School in Hoa Thanh District, had decided to end their relationship. He hoped that his attacks would scare her into wanting an escort to school every day, and that their relationship could resume. He only attacked girls biking to school alone, Tai told the police.

In the first case on March 7, Tai and Pham Thanh Duy, 28, slit the trousers of an eighth grader, causing a ten-centimeter (7.9-inch) long cut on her waist.

Tai, Duy two others Vo Le Hoang Ngu, 29, and Phan Ca Li, 17 attacked a total of 18 schoolgirls before being arrested on March 18 when Ngu and Li were detained when waiting outside Hoa Thanh High School to attack Tai's girlfriend on his orders. Tai and Duy was arrested later the same day.

Police said Tai had made a pole attached with seven blades but had not used it when he was arrested.

Tai also scared his victims by telling them he was HIV positive and that he had passed on his infection to them.

Duy was sentenced to six years in jail, Ngu to four and a half years and Li to 15 months. All of them were found guilty of "deliberately injuring" and "insulting" others.

Tai was also ordered to pay VND71 million (US$3,400) in compensation to the victims.

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