Serial rapist gets life in southern Vietnam

By Le Lam, Thanh Nien News

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Do Van Cuong (C) being escorted out of a court house in Dong Nai Province on September 12, 2014. Photo: Le Lam Do Van Cuong (C) being escorted out of a court house in Dong Nai Province on September 12, 2014. Photo: Le Lam


A court in the southern province of Dong Nai sentenced a local man to life in prison on Friday
for a rape and robbery spree that preyed on seven women and girls in a single month.
Do Van Cuong, 25, was charged with sexual assault, statutory rape and robbery for crimes he committed between February and March of last year.
According to the official indictment, Cuong scoured deserted roads in Dong Nai and neighboring Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province before settling on lone women and school girls to rob and rape at knife point.
His first reported victim was a 12-year-old girl riding a bicycle in her school uniform on February 25.
The court convicted Cuong of drawing a blade and forcing her to have sex with him.
On March 15, he saw another schoolgirl walking and offered to give her a lift home.
Instead, he took her to a rubber plantation and forced her to hand over her gold jewelry, her cell phone and money.
He tried to rape the 19-year-old, but became frightened of passersby and fled the scene.
Cuong managed to rape a 21-year-old girl out on her motorbike the next day, before stealing her three cell phones and a battery worth VND100,000 (nearly US$5). Cuong allegedly tricked the girl into getting off her bike by asking her to help him load something onto his.
On March 20, he approached a 35-year-old victim who was also driving her motorbike alone. After flagging her down and pretending to ask for directions, he snatched her purse, which contained her money and personal papers.
The next day, he stopped two 16-year-old schoolgirls on the street, took their valuables and ordered them to have sex with him.
His crime was foiled by some good samaritans.
Half an hour later, he robbed another schoolgirl, 14, of a pair of gold earrings.
On March 23, he offered a lift to another 14-year-old who was walking home from school. He drove her to a cassava field, raped her and took her gold earrings.
He was finally arrested while trolling for victims on March 25.
Cuong told the panel of judges that he only meant to rob his victims, but found them so pretty, he couldn't resist raping them.
He claimed he was poor and that his day job only earned him VND2.5 million ($118) a month.

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