A Canadian man reportedly accused of sexually abusing homeless teenage boys in Vietnam is set to stand trial Wednesday in Hanoi.
Several local media reports say Vadim Scott Benderman, 45, allegedly paid boys between the ages of 13 and 15 for sex.
According the reports, police allege Mr. Benderman met boys at a lake in the city's centre, gave them food and let them play with his iPad before luring them to his rented house.
Mr. Benderman, formerly of Montreal, was arrested last year after police allege he was caught in the act with a 15-year-old boy.
It's reported he arrived in Vietnam in June, 2014, on a tourist visa, but later began teaching English at a foreign-language centre in Hanoi.
A spokesman for Global Affairs Canada says it was aware of a Canadian citizen facing legal proceedings in Vietnam but cannot comment on the case due to privacy concerns.
"Canadian officials are providing consular assistance to the individual and his family as required," Francois Lasalle said in an e-mail.
Several media outlets say Mr. Benderman had previously worked as a teacher in Thailand and in South Korea.
A former friend said he was a charismatic performer with a strong following in the Seoul music scene in 2007 and 2008.
"He had groupies and stuff, he had women specifically who would make a beeline to him because they knew him," said Shelton Bumgarner, who ran a local music magazine at the time.
Videos posted on YouTube show Mr. Benderman singing with a band at a bar in Seoul.
His biography on IMDB says he was born in Kyiv and moved to Montreal when he was 8. He quickly developed an interest in performing and went on to attend an art school in the United States, the site says.
He eventually moved to New York City, then back to Montreal, where he worked as a floor manager for the Montreal Canadiens for two seasons before heading to Seoul, it says. He stayed in the South Korean capital for a decade, the site says.
Aside from performing with several bands, "to most Koreans Vadim was seen as one of the country's most recognizable foreign faces for his work in television, commercials, and film, often playing explosive edgy characters," the biography says.