Vietnamese comedian’s U.S. sex abuse trial date moved

By Trung Nguyen   May 29, 2016 | 06:29 pm PT
Vietnamese comedian’s U.S. sex abuse trial date moved
Minh Beo's hearing on May 27 lasted for a couple of minute. Photo by
The fourth hearing for an alleged child abuse scandal involving Minh Beo – a renowned Vietnamese comedian – lasted for only near two minutes on May 27 after the prosecution announced a new pre-trial date.

Minh Beo appeared at Westminster Court in Orange County on Wednesday morning. His hearing took less than two minutes after the prosecuting attorney announced the pre-trial date has been moved to June 29 instead of June 10 as scheduled.

Judge Derek Johnson, prosecutor Bobby Taghavi and defense attorney Mia Yamamoto had a short discussion before the hearing started. The judge told Minh that he may ask for an earlier trial within 60 days following his not guilty plea on April 15. However, Minh refused and agreed to the new date.

Hong Quang Minh, who goes by the stage name “Minh Beo”, has performed in a number of television programs and movies in the U.S. and Vietnam. Minh 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.

He was charged on March 25, 2016, with multiple felonies of child sex abuse. They include one felony count of oral copulation of a minor, one felony count of attempting to commit a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14, and one felony count of meeting with a minor with the intent to engage in lewd conduct, according to a press release of Orange County District Attorney.

The arrest of the 38-year-old entertainer came as a shock to many people, including his fans back in Vietnam. He is expected to face up to five years and eight months in jail if convicted.

According to Ngoc Lan, a Vietnamese reporter in the U.S., Minh looked skinnier than two weeks ago, although he looked refreshed and less moody. The comedian wore an orange jumpsuit with a buzz cut, and occasionally smiled with his defense attorney as they exchanged conversations. Unlike Minh Beo's two previous lawyers, Yamamoto has avoided all media interviews. None of Minh's relatives attended the hearing.

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