Vietnamese actor arrested in U.S. on child sex charges

By Trung Nguyen, Vuong Anh, Brett Davis   March 29, 2016 | 11:14 am GMT+7
Vietnamese actor arrested in U.S. on child sex charges

Popular Vietnamese actor and comedian Hong Quang Minh, who goes by the stage name Minh Beo, was arrested last week in Orange County, California on suspicion of sexually assaulting a young boy.

Police arrested Minh on March 24, and he was charged with one count each of oral copulation of a minor, attempting to commit a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14, and meeting with a minor with the intent to engage in lewd conduct.

The Orange County Sheriff’s jail log indicates Minh remains in custody with bail set at $1 million. His next scheduled court appearance is April 15.

If convicted of the charges he faces a maximum prison sentence of five years and eight months, and a lifetime sex offender registration, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement to local media.

minh-beo-mat-lien-lac-voi-gia-dinh-nghi-bi-bat-o-my

Vietnamese comedian and actor Minh Beo.

Minh was reportedly holding auditions for a project he was working on in California, and he is accused of orally copulating a boy on March 23, when the victim arrived for the audition. The boy reported the incident to police which launched an investigation, the Orange County Register reported, citing prosecutors.

The next day, an undercover officer posing as a minor communicated with Minh, prosecutors said. Minh is accused of attempting to set up a meeting with the officer with the intent of committing a sexual assault.

News of Minh’s arrest spread rapidly through social media networks in Vietnam yesterday.

The comedian's older brother, Hong Kien, told VnExpress he was very concerned at not being able to contact Minh.

"I just heard the news this afternoon. In the last three days, our family hasn't been able to contact Minh but we just assumed that he was busy with the shows. Normally, he rarely contacts us when he goes overseas to perform,” he said.

minh-beo-mat-lien-lac-voi-gia-dinh-nghi-bi-bat-o-my-1

Minh performs in a show before losing contact with his family.

Minh has performed in a number of television programs and movies in the U.S. and Vietnam, and he was reportedly planning to open a modeling school and continue with an ongoing humanitarian TV show called "Luc Lac Vang" once he returned to the country.

Minh has received awards for his contributions to culture and arts in Vietnam, and he was the founder of a comedy theater named after him in Ho Chi Minh City.