An appeals court in Can Tho sentenced a high school teacher convicted of selling grades for sex to four years in jail last Thursday.
Nguyen Van Hoang, a technology teacher at Thoi Long High School in the Mekong Delta city, raped a tenth grader in a bathroom for male teachers last October.
But Hoang was not specifically charged with “rape”, which is described as including more physical force under Vietnamese laws. He was accused of “coercive seduction” which carries a lighter punishment.
The act is punishable by between two to seven years in jail if the victim is between 16 and 18 years old. Rape is punishable by five to ten years under the Penal Code.
Hoang's student, identified only as L.T.K.L., was 17 when he promised to raise her scores in exchange for sex.
Prosecutors say he kept his promise, and changed her score on one test from 3 (out of ten) to 8 and another from 6 to 9.
On October 23 last year, when L. submitted her exam, Hoang asked her to see him at 2pm.
When she came to the teachers’ conference room that afternoon, Hoang took her to the male teacher’s bathroom, to grope and kiss her.
Three days later, Hoang asked her to come to the bathroom again and had sex with her.
The victim, who turned 18 this year, wrote a report on Hoang's actions and sent a copy to him on November 8.
Her family found out and called the police.
During the investigation, the girl’s father withdrew his complaint and asked police to free Hoang of criminal liability after he paid the family VND70 million (US$3,290).
Can Tho prosecutors dismissed the father’s motion and asked the police to proceed.
The O Mon District People’s Court on July 31 let Hoang off with a two-year suspended sentence.
But the prosecutors appealed, saying the penalty was too lenient.
On Thursday, a judicial panel sustained the motion, saying Hoang should have offered a good example to his students.