In St. Paul last November a 14-year-old girl was sexually attacked by nine Hmong males who had enticed her to a party for that purpose of gang rape, a practice that is more or less accepted in misogynist Hmong culture. The first trial has finished with a conviction and sentence of eight years for the perp.
Below, five adults of the nine Hmong members of the True Blood (TB22) street gang who were arrested for the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl.
As Roy Beck explained in his 1994 Atlantic article The Ordeal of Immigration in Wausau the influx of many thousands of primitive Hmong into the midwest was a project of some church do-gooders who thought it would be nice to welcome refugees to their town. Little did they imagine that the numbers would only mount and the cultural divide would expand into worsened crime and social disfunction.
Interestingly, as the brutal crime spurred more investigation, the cultural component was described in a local paper:
Shamed into silence, Minneapolis Star Tribune, March 23, 2012
[. . .] A clash of cultures may play a role in the crimes, some scholars and Hmong leaders say.
For instance, in Hmong homelands, a boy who wanted to marry a girl could get his friends or relatives to help him capture her. Even if he raped her, the assault could be forgiven if he married her. Ilean Her, executive director of the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans, said she’s afraid those practices get handed down in some families.
“Some [men] are going to end up in prison as long as the mentality is still there,” Her said. “And lots of them are passing it on to their sons.”
For the same reason, some Hmong mothers aren’t sympathetic to daughters who have been raped, she said.
“The older ladies, they will tell you right away, ‘When I was young, I was molested. And that’s just what girls go through,’ ” she said. [. . .]
That’s interesting: Hmongs consider rape to be a normal part of their culture, and girls are supposed to accept it.
Is this the sort of social norm that diversity enthusiasts want us to celebrate?
At least the crime is being punished American-style, although a longer sentence would have been appropriate.
Teen gets eight years in gang rape of girl, 14, in St. Paul, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Sept 11, 2012
A St. Paul teenager on Tuesday became the first person to be sentenced in the 2011 gang rape of a 14-year-old girl, receiving an eight-year prison term for his role in the November crime.
Shaileng Shong Lor, 17, pleaded guilty in July to charges of conspiring to rape the girl and to having committed the crime for the benefit of a gang. He was one of five adults and four juveniles accused of plying the girl with alcohol, driving her to a vacant St. Paul house, dragging her inside and sexually assaulting her.
“We told the public that we would rigorously prosecute these cases,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi. “What you’re seeing is that unfold.”
In addition to Lor, three others have entered guilty pleas. Five cases remain open, although Vang Tou Ger Vue, 19, has a plea hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
The county attorney’s office has run hard at the case. Choi put one of his top prosecutors, Heidi Westby, on all nine cases, and three juveniles were successfully certified as adults. One of them, Jim Her, 17, is appealing that decision.
“We’ve been working on this quite some time,” Choi said.
Prosecutors and police say the suspects were members or associates of the True Blood (TB22) street gang, one of St. Paul’s largest Hmong gangs, known for guns, violence and several burglaries throughout the metro area.
When Lor pleaded guilty in July, he said under questioning that he helped pull the girl from a vehicle and held her leg down after she was forced into the White Bear Avenue house and onto a mattress.
Court documents say that at least one suspect, Vue, sexually penetrated the girl before someone yelled that police were coming, and everyone scattered.
In addition to his prison sentence, Lor will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
“Mr. Lor, I don’t have any words of wisdom for you,” Ramsey County District Judge Mark Ireland said after he handed down the sentence.
The victim sent Ireland an impact statement but asked that it be kept confidential with the judge, so it was not read in open court, said county attorney spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein.
Lor’s parents and a few family members who attended Tuesday’s sentencing declined to comment.
The defendants who pleaded guilty — Lor; Mitchell T. Yang, 23; Xou Yang, 17; and an unnamed juvenile — have agreed to testify at the remaining defendants’ trials if requested. The trials will proceed separately, although the state is seeking to join the trial of Kong Meng Vang, 38, with Vang Toug Ger Vue’s trial, if Vue does not plead.
Vanchai Xiong, 19, and Mang Yang, 24, are also charged in the case. They have pre-trial dates scheduled for October.
Jim Her has no court date scheduled.
In a motion filed in August, one defense attorney, Gary Wolf, wrote, “In this case, it is believed most of the five defendants currently charged will plead guilty.”
Choi declined Tuesday to address that assertion.