Vietnam appeal court increases man's sentence to 16 years for raping daughter

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A Ho Chi Minh City court Friday extended the jail term for a man who raped his 11-year-old daughter from seven to 16 years after prosecutors decided to charge him with "raping a minor" instead of the original "child sexual abuse."

Prosecutors from neighboring Dong Nai Province had filed an appeal against Tran Nhat Bang, 33, Tien Phong newspaper reported.

The indictment said Bang and his wife did not have a happy marriage. They were both workers with meager incomes, and they constantly argued because he was a drinker and gambler.

One night in June 2010 he raped his daughter, only identified as T.T.A.T., for the first time.

He raped her two more times after he and his wife had a big fight in early July and she went to her parents' home.

The girl said she had been afraid of her father and not dared tell anyone about the rapes initially. But later she told her brother, then seven, after the boy found her crying one day. The boy then told the mother that September and she complained to the police.

Bang told the first instance court that he had only committed some "obscene" acts with his daughter and that she could have lost her virgin while playing sports.

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Investigations confirmed the girl's accusations but it is not clear why prosecutors first chose the less serious charge.

The Ministry of Public Security said in a report last May that there were nearly 4,740 cases of child sexual abuse between 2006 and 2010, with 2,718 children being victims of rape.

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