BackStories » Vietnam » High-Profile Local Artist Under Investigation Over Rape Allegations From Past Models

More and more women are speaking out about the sexual abuse they had to endure in their work environment in the past.

On May 19, a 24-year-old model, who's only known by her initials K.P., submitted an official criminal complaint to the police department of District 10 against body painting artist N.L. for rape, Thanh Nien reports. The police then sent her to the city's forensic center for further inspection. At the time of writing, the inspection's results found that there were male cells on K.P.'s private areas.

According to K.P., she was hired by N.L. to be a model for his upcoming body painting photo collection. On May 2, they met at a cafe to discuss work, where N.L. said he wanted a session to sketch and test a few angles and she agreed. At 7:45pm on the same day, he texted her, asking if she's free to do a session at her house. She declined and insisted on doing the test at a studio.

He agreed and picked her up at her house to head to the studio together. However, N.L. stopped at a hotel on Tran Thien Chanh Street in District 10 instead and suggested that they do the testing there. Thinking it's common practice for nude models, K.P consented.

After a few shots and sketches, N.L. requested that she lie on the bed so he could shoot a few more angles and suddenly touched her private area. K.P. panicked and insisted on going home. He then allegedly pressed her down and raped her. K.P. also claimed that N.L. wore a condom the entire time.

Two days later, K.P. and her mom went to a local police station to file a charge against him. The case was then handed over to the district's police department.

K.P. said she hasn't recovered from the trauma caused by the incident. After filing the rape charge, K.P. claimed to have received many calls from strangers, one of which she believed to be a close friend or family of the alleged rapist. The person offered a sum of money in compensation for the assault, to which she declined.

"I was really frustrated during these recent days because I work to support my child and I'm not making this up to be famous or to blackmail for money. Therefore, I won't let him get away with it," Phuong told Nguoi Lao Dong.

In addition to the official charge, K.P. also took to social media to tell her story and encourage others to come forward, which was met with both support and malicious attacks based on her profession as a nude model and the fact that the artist had his condom on at the time.

N.L. was summoned to the police station on May 23 to explain his case. The artist admitted they did go to a hotel room for the test session but denied all allegations and refused to answer questions related to the matter, saying "if the allegation was true, I would wait for the investigation's results from authorities."

According to Ha Ngoc Tuyen – a lawyer from the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association – sexual assault cases are often hard to prove. There must be proof such as bruises and scratches that show that the intercourse is against the victim's will. The crime scene's CCTV cameras must also be checked to inspect victim's mental state before and after entering the hotel's room.

Earlier today, another female model came forward against N.L., claiming that a similar incident also happened to her, the only difference is that N.L. was unsuccessful in his attempts to rape her. The accuser is a 19-year-old nude model whose initials are H.P.

"I was taking a shower [to wash the paint off] and he casually opened the door and helped me wash off the paint on my back and hips. Suddenly, he touched my private parts. So I told him to get out," H.P. said. She also added that she's willing to testify at K.P.'s trial if need be. 

[Photo via Yeah1]

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