Twenty-year-old Thi Truong Han has been charged with sexual abuse of children, police in Ho Chi Minh City's Hoc Mon District said Tuesday (December 18).
Local prosecutors will consider ratifying the charges against Han, better known as Thuan in the local gay community, for forcing boys aged 8-14 into prostitution and sexually abusing them. He has been placed under house arrest pending trial.
Han has admitted his crime to the local police, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported Wednesday (December 19).
Hoc Mon police said they launched an investigation into the case and summoned Thuan, suspects, victims and witnesses for questioning following an October 22 article in Tuoi Tre that reported on Han's services on a website for gay males.
The services, which were offered three days after customers made a deposit, were provided at hotels in Hoc Mon District and District 12 in the afternoons or on Sundays, because the children had to go to school in the morning.
Han, who claimed himself to be the leader of a prostitution ring with dozens of boys, was quoted by the report as saying that every tryst lasted for one to two hours.
Customers, including students and foreigners in HCMC, had to pay Han VND1 million (US$48) for every oral sex session and VND2 million for anal sex.
Tuoi Tre reported that Han befriended primary and middle school boys via online chats or met them at public places such as swimming pools, parks and internet cafés and managed to win their trust by offering them meals, gifts and money to play games.
Later, he lured them into having sex with him and forced them to provide sexual services to gay men for money. He threatened to expose sex abuse video clips if the victims disobeyed him. The boys had to give him 30 percent of the money they earned.
Han, a 12th grade student at District 12's Center for Continuing Education, was living with his grandmother. He had fled the house in Hoc Mon's Dong Thanh Commune after getting into trouble for molesting a neighbor's kid.
He often returned to Dong Thanh and neighboring communes to approach his victims and asked them to satisfy his own sexual demands or work for him as prostitutes.
A total number of 720 cases of child sexual abuse in Ho Chi Minh City have been reported in the past eight years with victims, boys and girls, mostly aged 13-16, a VnExpress report said, citing local authorities.