77-year old man sentenced to 3 years in jail for molesting two girls in southern Vietnam

By Nguyen Khoa   November 17, 2017 | 08:57 pm PT
77-year old man sentenced to 3 years in jail for molesting two girls in southern Vietnam
Nguyen Khac Thuy pictured at a court hearing. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Khoa
But eyewitnesses said he sexually abused seven children.

A 77-year-old man from Vietnam 's southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has been sentenced to three years in prison for child sexual abuse.

A court in the province on Friday imposed the punishment after concluding that Nguyen Khac Thuy had molested two girls, aged 6 and 11, in the apartment building where he lives.

According to prosecutors, Thuy was caught abusing the 11-year old girl in 2014.

A month before that, he was seen doing the same to the 6-year old.

Though Thuy repeatedly pleaded not guilty, claiming he was framed, camera footage, eyewitness reports and testimonies from the victims and their families have shown otherwise. 

Eyewitnesses living in the building said they had seen Thuy making inappropriate advances toward many other girls and even warned their parents of him.

In March, President Tran Dai Quang ordered top police and prosecutors to look into Thuy's case after he was accused of abusing seven children, following multiple media reports that suggested no strong legal action had been taken.

The president asked that the Ministry of Public Security and the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the top prosecutors office, speed up the investigation.

Police in Ba Ria-Vung Tau opened a criminal case in August last year after seven families at an apartment building filed complaints that Thuy had molested their daughters many times, allegedly since 2012.

In Vietnam, more than 8,200 cases of child abuse came to light between 2011 and 2015, including 5,300 cases of sexual abuse, according to official figures released a year ago.

In most cases the perpetrators were people having authority over the children, like teachers, school security guards and relatives.

Vietnam usually allows up to three months for most criminal investigations. Serious cases that require more time can be extended, but only with permission.

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