Former prosecutor faces prosecution for child molestation

By Quoc Thang   April 21, 2019 | 05:05 am PT
Former prosecutor faces prosecution for child molestation
A screenshot from CCTV camera showed Nguyen Huu Linh laying his arm around a young girl’s neck inside an elevator at an apartment building in HCMC.
Child molestation charges will be brought against Nguyen Huu Linh after an elevator camera in HCMC caught him in the act.

On April 21, HCMC’s District 4 police ratified child molestation investigation against 61-year-old Nguyen Huu Linh, a retired deputy chief prosecutor in the central city of Da Nang.

Pham Xuan Thao, deputy police chief of District 4 said that after 18 days of investigation, they have gathered enough evidence to press charges against Linh.

Linh, who lives in Da Nang, visited his son in an apartment building in District 4. On the evening of April 1, a girl of around five walked into the elevator followed by Linh, who was focused on his phone. A security guard helped the girl select her floor before exiting.

As soon as the elevator door closed, Linh wrapped his arms around the girl’s neck and kissed her. When the girl moved away from him, Linh grabbed her again and only let her go when the door opened. She ran away in panic.

After seeing the girl in an unusual state, her family requested to review the elevator camera and the footage showed that Linh had behaved inappropriately with the girl.

When summoned by HCMC police for questioning, Linh said that on seeing a cute little girl, he had merely "petted" her. He also said that he drunk a beer before going to the apartment building and did kiss the girl twice because he found her cute, but had no intention of molesting her.

The family didn’t want to make a big fuss because they were worried about how it would affect the little girl, so they chose to reconcile and not pursue the incident further. Linh returned to Da Nang soon after.

When the camera footage surfaced online, an outraged public demanded action, remarking on his status as a former prosecutor.

Linh’s actions, if deemed molestation of a person under 16, is punishable by six months to three years in prison under the Penal Code.

About 2,000 cases of child abuse are discovered in Vietnam every year, according to data from the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. 

Over 1,500 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in the country in both 2018 and 2017, only showing slight improvements in child protection, a labor ministry report stated.

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