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Vietnamese American’s rape accusation: Raping? Being raped? Or lies?

Monday, May 12, 2014, 18:33 GMT+7

A Vietnamese taxi driver accused an American woman of Vietnamese descendant of sexually harassing him on May 4 but oddly the latter had reported to local police that she was raped by another cabbie just a couple of days earlier.

The accuser-turned-accused Pham Thi Thanh Ngoc, 40, is also the one who had lodged complaints to local police against a Vietnamese tabloid for what she called ostensible made-up stories last year that she raped many taxi drivers, one of whom was said to be forced to have sex with her over 30 times in two days.

However, all of her accusations have been disproved by Vietnamese authorities eventually.

Ngoc: I’m a rape victim

The American woman told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on May 1 that she returned to Vietnam to meet a 31-year-old young man named N.Đ.T. living in the southern city of Vung Tau who proclaimed himself as a “poor kept man.”

Ngoc said after having a vacation in Hanoi, she and the man in question flew to Ho Chi Minh City and had a big argument after leaving Tan Son Nhat airport on April 30.

Angry, Ngoc left T. and took a taxi to a hotel in District 3 to sleep.

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Ngoc tells a Tuoi Tre reporter about the alleged raping case on May 1 in which she was a victim at a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Ngoc had the 49-year-old taxi driver, known as H.H.T., carry her suitcases to the hotel room but the man stepped inside and went into the bathroom without her permission, the Vietnamese-American woman told the newspaper.

After taking a shower, he managed to rape her at dawn of May 1. Ngoc said she was unable to resist because she was too tired and the room was closed.

A police officer in District 3 confirmed on May 1 that he received Ngoc’s letter of denunciation over the alleged raping case. But he said the woman withdrew her complaint on the evening of the same day.

Ngoc later explained to Tuoi Tre that she withdrew the letter because the cabbie’s family implored her to do so.  

Young cabbie says Ngoc sexually harassed him

Preliminary information has indicated that Ngoc contacted Vinasun taxi firm in HCMC at around 8:15 pm on May 4 to hire a cabbie to drive her to Buon Ma Thuot City in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, about 330km away from the southern hub.

The transport company assigned 25-year-old driver Tran Hoa Nhan to pick her up on Huynh Van Banh Street in the southern city’s Phu Nhuan District.

“She asked me how much the fare would be and I told her it would cost VND5.25 million (US$250),” Nhan said.

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Ngoc tries to hide her face in front of cameras when she is escorted to Tan Lap police station in the southern province of Binh Phuoc on May 5. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Taxi driver Tran Hoa Nhan shows the broken window of his car. Photo: Tuoi Tre

“At first, she did not agree with the price but she changed her mind after a short hesitation,” the driver asserted. “She said she would also cover food and road maintenance fees during the trip.”

After three hours on the road, Ngoc asked Nhan to drop her at Ha Mi hotel in Tan Lap Commune in the southern province of Binh Phuoc to take a rest at around 11:30 pm.

Ngoc had Nhan carry her suitcases to her room as she previously did with the 49 year-old taxi driver H.H.T.

When Nhan brought the last suitcase to the room, he was stunned to see Ngoc stepping out of the bathroom without clothes and continued to be shocked when the woman told him that she would not pay the taxi fare if he did not “serve” her.

The man felt scared and ran away down to a nearby gasoline station and called for help.

“While I was talking to some attendants at the station, Ngoc showed up and said she had smashed my car’s window,” the driver told Tuoi Tre.

Nhan called local police after finding out that his vehicle’s glass window was broken and the TV screen inside was damaged.

About one hour later, at around 2:00 am on May 5, two local police officers showed up and summoned Ngoc to their station for questioning but the woman refused to cooperate.

Ngoc even threw boiling water through the slit of the room door where the two policemen were standing.

“After knocking on the door many times but getting no words from the woman, we used the extra room-key given to us by the hotel staff and entered the room,” one of the two policemen said.

“But we went outside after seeing that she was fully naked,” the policeman uttered, adding that they let the woman sleep until the morning.

At 7:30 am on May 5 after receiving order from higher authorities, police in Tan Lap Commune returned to Ha Mi hotel and continued to knock on the door in order to call her to the local police station but again they were attacked by boiling water from the woman.

After three hours, they had no choice but to force entry into the room. After that, they managed to take her to their office where the woman was being questioned over accusations of “disturbing public order,” “destroying other’s property,” and “sexual assault.”

However, the American national was released the same day because the police found no evidence proving that she committed the offenses.

Nymphomaniac?

Nguoi Dua Tin (Informant) newspaper, a Hanoi-based tabloid under the administration of the Vietnam Association of Jurists, last year published a series of articles telling of a woman, referred to only as N., who reportedly raped many taxi drivers in the northern province of Hai Duong.

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Ngoc cries when she talks to reporters in Vietnam over the alleged "rape lies" from Nguoi Dua Tin in this photo taken January 15, 2014. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The paper called N. a “nymphomaniac” and claimed that one of the victims was locked in her house for two days and forced to have sex with the woman more than 30 times. It added in two reports published on December 26 and 28 in 2013 that N. lured “80-90 percent of Hai Duong taxi drivers” into her private home in the province, drugged the men with aphrodisiacs, and raped them.

Ngoc then insisted that she was alluded to in these articles as N. so she accused the newspaper of publishing made-up contents that seriously affected her reputation and prestige.  The woman also proposed police in Hai Duong, the province where Nguoi Dua Tin reported a “nymphomaniac” raped many taxi drivers, charge the newspaper with “slander” under Article 122 of the Vietnamese Penal Code. Additionally, the Vietnamese-American woman alleged that a number of taxi drivers of Mai Linh Taxi Company had provided Nguoi Dua Tin with untrue information from which the newspaper used to write their false stories.   However, the police replied to Ngoc on April 18 that the “nymphomaniac” mentioned in Nguoi Dua Tin’s articles did not refer to any particular woman residing at any specific address, so there were no grounds to conclude that the newspaper’s reporters tainted the honor, human dignity or reputation of anyone. In other words, the police said, there were no signs of slander in such articles. Thus, they refuted all her accusations.

Tuoi Tre

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