Vietnamese man accused of raping 12-year-old girls

By Lam Vien, Thanh Nien News

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Police in Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands have arrested a local man on suspicion of raping two children in his neighborhood for several months.
Nguyen Van Han, 49, was taken into custody on Monday, three days after families of the girls, both 12 years old, reported the alleged multiple rapes. 
They said from late October last year to early February, Han persuaded the girls to come over to his house and raped them.
Initial investigation found Han, a single man and scrap dealer, had made the girls watch porn before sexually assaulting them.
He then gave them money, around a dollar each time, and made threats to keep them silent. 
Both the girls come from low-income families. 
Investigators said Han was also accused of bringing in two other teen girls and forcing them to watch him rape their friends. The four girls study at the same school.
Their families said they only found out early this month.
Having sex with one under 13 years old in any circumstances is ruled as child rape under Vietnam’s Penal Code. The crime can be punished by between 12 years in prison and death penalty. 
Child rapes account for nearly two-thirds of the average of 1,000 sexual assaults reported each year in Vietnam. 
School curricula have been criticized for not paying enough attention on sex education to enable children to protect themselves.
Many parents meanwhile are afraid that discussions about sex are tantamount to teaching children how to have sex, which generally remains a taboo subject in most parts of the country.

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