School headmaster appeals in high-profile sex crime

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A former school principal who received a nine-year sentence from a Ha Giang court early this month has filed an appeal, his wife said Saturday.


According to Nguyen Thi Toan, her husband, 54-year-old Sam Duc Xuong, believed the sentence handed down by the provincial People's Court was "unfair," newspaper Nguoi Lao Dong reported.


Xuong is one of several high-profile individuals in the province who have been accused of sleeping with female students by local parents .


"He told me he would appeal by all means. Many people committed the same crime, why was he the only one to be punished?" Toan said.


On Mar 10, Xuong, the former principal of Viet Lam High School, received the sentence and was fined VND5 million (US$239.7) for having sex with his students, including six under-age, between July 2008 and August 2009.


The court also handed down suspended sentences of 36 months and 30 months respectively to two of his students, Nguyen Thuy Hang and Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, both 20, for procuring schoolgirls for Xuong.


They also had sex with Xuong.


The provincial police launched an investigation into the case after some parents reported that Xuong had forced their daughters to have sex with him in September, 2009.


Two months later, a court sentenced Xuong to ten and half years in prison. Hang and Thuy received jail terms of six and five years respectively.

However, an appeal court later ordered a fresh investigation into the case, after the girls presented a list of 16 government officials that they had sex with.


After studying the results of the new investigation, Ha Giang's prosecutors decided not to charge any of the listed officials, including Nguyen Truong To, former chairman of the provincial People's Committee.



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