Man charged with rape; 16-year-old describes forced prostitution, drug use in Jungle

SEATTLE – A 47-year-old man was arrested and charged with rape, and a 16-year-old runaway from New Jersey described a horrifying life of rape, forced prostitution and drug use in the Jungle homeless encampment in Seattle, according to court documents.

Nghia Nguyen, aka “Asian Mike,” was charged with second-degree rape. He also had two outstanding felony warrants when he was arrested.

Police said they found the girl in a tent in the Jungle in early January after receiving a tip. She said she ran away from home at the end of November, came to Seattle on a Greyhound bus, and soon found her way to the Jungle.

The girl said she stayed with several people over the course of the ensuing weeks, many of whom raped her and forced her to sell herself. Somewhere along the way, she began using heroin.

She said she was passed from tent to tent, and eventually she was sold to a man who also raped her with a friend.

From there, she said, she ended up with Nguyen. She said Nguyen gave her a place to stay, food, and crystal meth and crack cocaine. She said Nguyen wouldn’t let her use heroin any more.

The girl said Nguyen threatened to kill her on at least one occasion, and said he’d blow off her knee caps if she ran away and tried to come back.

The girl said there were six other girls, one of whom was 13, staying in the same area of the camp.

Police said they found one other girl, a 14-year-old runaway from Idaho, who said Nguyen also raped her, and a 16-year-old who is also a possible victim.

Nguyen told police he knew two of the girls, but said he didn’t rape them, give them drugs or threaten them. He said he was being framed.