Nguyen Thi Anh (R), 35, and Nguyen Thi Huong, 21, stood trial on Wednesday. Photo: Nguyen Long
A café owner in the beach town of Vung Tau was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for shaving a female waitress' head and coercing her into a tattoo parlor in a jealous rage.
35-year-old Nguyen Thi Anh, a.k.a Tram Anh, the owner of Mo Neo Café was found guilty of “intentionally inflicting injury on another person,” the Vung Tau People’s Court ruled.
Her accomplice, a 21-year-old waitress named Nguyen Thi Huong, got two years under the same charge for taking the victim, Nguyen Thi Giang, to a tattoo parlor.
According to the indictment, Giang left her hometown in Nghe An Province to work for Anh in 2008.
On November 26, 2011, Anh found that Giang had nearly VND3 million (US$147) in her pocket and suspected the waitress had an affair with her husband.
Anh began to beat the girl and threatened to douse her girl in acid or hire a hit man to “handle” her if she didn't confess.
During the beating Giang admitted to sleeping with her boss' husband on three occasions, prompting Anh to shave Giang's head and continue hitting her.
Three days later, Anh asked Huong to take Giang to a tattoo shop in Vung Tau where Giang received one centipede on her left check and two others above each breast.
During the trial, Anh argued that the indictment incorrectly accused her of acting on suspicion that Giang had had an affair with her husband, whereas the pair were in fact engaged in an affair.
Anh also rejected charges that she'd forced Giang to get her tattoos.
A file photo shows Nguyen Thi Giang suffering three centipede tattoos on her face and body.
Meanwhile, Huong said Anh repeatedly warned not to go to the police and told her to take the victim to the tattoo parlor.
Huong said she should not have been prosecuted for inflicting injury on another person.
“I passed along Anh’s message: that Giang could either get the centipede tattoos or be attacked with acid. Anh forced me to take Giang to get the tattoos,” she said.
Investigators decided that Giang had suffered injury to 15 percent of her body -- a metric used in Vietnam to calculate punitive damages and sentencing.
The crime of intentionally causing a 11-30 percent injury to another's body carries up to three and seven years in jail.
Last year, the Vung Tau People’s Court freed Anh and Huong under the condition that they negotiate financial compensation with Giang. The court dropped the case after Anh paid Giang VND400 million and Giang agreed to withdraw her lawsuit.
The Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province People’s Court later annulled the decision for violating prosecutorial protocol. The court also said Anh and Giang should receive strict punishment because they caused permanent injury to their victim.