Latest defendant in St. Paul gang rape pleads guilty
- Article by: JOY POWELL
- Star Tribune
- October 4, 2012 - 12:32 PM
A 19-year-old St. Paul man has pleaded guilty and faces 21 years in prison for the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl.
Vang Tou Ger Vue is the fifth of nine defendants to plead guilty and a ringleader in the attack last November at a vacant house on St. Paul's East Side.
Authorities say the assailants are or were members or associates of the True Blood (TB22) street gang, one of St. Paul's largest Hmong gangs. It's been linked to guns, violence, burglaries -- and now rape.
Court documents say that at least one suspect, Vue, sexually penetrated the girl before someone yelled that police were coming and everyone ran from the house in the 200 block of White Bear Avenue.
Another youth, Shaileng Shong Lor, 17, was sentenced last month to eight years in prison after pleading guilty in July to charges of conspiring to rape the girl and committing a crime for the benefit of a gang. He had held down the girl while Vue raped her, authorities alleged.
The two were among five adults and four juveniles accused of giving the girl alcohol and attacking her.
Each suspect was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, crime committed for the benefit of a gang and conspiracy to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Vue pleaded guilty to the first three of those counts. The conspiracy charge was dropped Wednesday.
He will be sentenced next month.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi had vowed an aggressive prosecution of the suspects, calling it the kind of crime "that shocks the conscience of a community."
In 2009, Vue was placed on supervision as a juvenile after being found guilty of committing a crime for the benefit of a gang.
Vue and Lor will have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.
The others who have pleaded guilty in the case -- Lor; Mitchell T. Yang, 23; Xou Yang, 17; and an unnamed juvenile -- have agreed to testify for the prosecution at the remaining defendants' trials.
Vanchai Xiong, 19, and Mang Yang, 24, face pretrial hearings this month.
Joy Powell • 651-925-5038
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