Vadim Scott Benderman stands trial in Hanoi on January 13, 2016 for having sex with four boys aged 14-16. Photo credit: VietNamNet
A court in Hanoi has sentenced a 46-year-old Canadian to four years in prison for having sex with homeless boys aged 14-16 in Hanoi, local media reported on Wednesday.
Vadim Scott Benderman, who worked for an English language center in the capital city, was found guilty of having sex with at least four boys in a year, before being arrested in June last year.
Benderman entered Vietnam in June 2014 on a tourist visa and stayed to work as an English teacher and a bar musician.
Prosecutors said the man frequented some lakes and parks in Hanoi where he would approach teen boys and ask them to follow him to his place. He would pay them VND200,000-400,000 ($4-17) each time.
Benderman's lawyer Nguyen Anh Thom told news website VietNamNet that the Canadian man will be deported once he completes his sentence.
Advocacy groups have for years been urging Vietnam to take more efforts to protect street children from abuse. This case, discovered by Hanoi-based Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, shows that more needs to be done.
"We are so relieved that he is no longer a threat to vulnerable children but our work will not stop here. There is so much more to be done in preventing and prosecuting those who prey on vulnerable children," the group said after the sentencing.