Vietnamese-American pedophile on probation arrested ahead of retrial

By Phuc Hung   June 24, 2016 | 04:39 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese-American pedophile on probation arrested ahead of retrial
Tieu Van Luan - the child sex offender - owns the biggest hotel in the southern province of Ca Mau. Photo by VnExpress
The owner of the biggest hotel in Ca Mau Province who received a controversial verdict of just three years probation for having sex with a minor has been arrested after a higher judicial authority demanded a retrial.

In mid-April, Ca Mau People's Court issued a guilty verdict to Tieu Van Luan (57) – the Vietnamese-American owner of the Best Hotel in Ca Mau  for having sex with a 15-year-old girl. Lam Thi Chau (40), the madam who arranged for Luan to have sex with the girl, was also found guilty and received the same sentence.

While the judicial panel considered the behavior of Luan and Chau to be “dangerous to society and harmful to the physical and psychological development of children,” the court only sentenced him to three years probation. The panel claimed good family backgrounds and outstanding business achievements as the reasons for the lenient sentence.

Local media cited several prosecutors and lawyers as saying that the punishment was "too lenient," considering that such crimes often lead to a prison term of between seven and 15 years based on Vietnam's Penal Code.

On June 23, Ca Mau People’s Court ordered the arrest of Luan in preparation for a retrial following a request by Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court Nguyen Hoa Binh, who asked the court to review its earlier “unusual” decision. The date of the retrial has yet to be confirmed.

“In this case, the defendant is a big property owner. The public and the media have questioned whether that was the reason for the short sentence. There was even a comment that said he was very lucky to be in Vietnam. If he was in the U.S., he would have faced serious jail time,” Binh said.

Earlier in May, Ca Mau's People’s Procuracy also appealed the decision by the local People’s Court and demanded a tougher penalty for Luan. Chau will also face a tougher sentence after the prosecutor’s office found the verdict for both defendants incompliant with the law.

Luan went to the U.S. in 1980. Seven years later he was granted a membership card from the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. Luan has been praised for his creative ideas in manufacturing mobile houses.

Having sex with a child between 13 and 16 years old is a serious criminal offence in Vietnam and punishable by up to 15 years in jail. Procuring sex with minors may also lead to a 15-year jail term.

Related news:

> Vietnam named as new child sex tourism destination

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

> Child sex tourism does not exist in Vietnam: official

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