Ex-prosecutor questioned for alleged child molestation

By Quoc Thang, Hai Duyen    April 3, 2019 | 05:12 am PT
Ex-prosecutor questioned for alleged 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 on Monday night.
A former senior prosecutor has been caught on camera apparently molesting a young girl inside an elevator in Saigon.

Nguyen Huu Linh, a retired deputy chief prosecutor in the central city of Da Nang, has caused public anger after the camera footage went viral.

A clip from the apartment building in District 4 Monday night shows a girl of around five walking into the elevator followed by Linh.

A security guard helps the girl select her floor before exiting.

As soon as the door closes the 61-year-old man comes close to the girl, wraps his arm around her neck and kisses her. The girl walks away from him as if to escape his clutches. Linh grabs her again and only lets her go when the door opens.

The girl runs out in apparent panic, stumbles and then runs away as fast as she can.

Nguyen Sy Quang, a senior HCMC police officer, said Linh was visiting family members living in the apartment. Building employees said he had drunk earlier that night.

On Wednesday morning the HCMC police said he had been summoned for questioning.

He initially told them that on seeing the cute little girl he had merely "petted" her.

Tran Ngoc Nu, a HCMC lawyer, told VnExpress Linh’s act could be considered molestation of a person under 16, which is punishable by six months to three years in prison under the Penal Code.

In March a man was caught on camera forcefully hugging and kissing a 20-year-old girl inside an elevator in a Hanoi apartment building.

He was required to make a public apology to the victim but failed to do so.

He was eventually slapped with a VND200,000 (nearly $9) fine for "using offensive words and actions toward another person." This too quickly drew public criticism for being too lenient.

Official data on sexual harassment is not regularly published in Vietnam. But a 2014 survey of 2,000 Vietnamese women by the NGO ActionAid found 87 percent of women and girls experienced sexual harassment in public places.

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