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Lawyer seeks reduced bail for Vietnamese child molestation suspect at US pretrial

Friday, May 27, 2016, 11:50 GMT+7

The lawyer defending a Vietnamese entertainer charged with molesting a boy in the U.S. will request reduced bail and fewer charges against her client at a pretrial hearing in Westminster, California on Friday.

The pretrial proceeding was originally slated for May 14, but Hong Quang Minh, aka Minh Beo, requested to change attorneys at the last minute.

Minh Beo’s request was accepted and the hearing was postponed for two weeks, until this Friday morning (U.S. time) at the Superior Court of California, West Justice Center in Westminster, with Mia Yamamoto replacing Vietnamese-American Do Phu as his lawyer.

Yamamoto, a Japanese American, will seek to cut the US$1 million bail set for her client to $100,000 or $200,000, a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper contributor reported from Westminster.

The attorney will then debate with prosecutors on charges against Minh Beo, who was arrested on March 24 and has since been held at an Orange County jail.

The 38-year-old Vietnamese entertainer pled not guilty to all three charges at an arraignment in Santa Ana, California on April 15.

The charges include oral copulation of a minor, attempting to commit a lewd act upon a child under age 14, and meeting with a minor with the intent to engage in lewd conduct.

Yamamoto will attempt to have the last felony count, ‘meeting with a minor with the intent to engage in lewd conduct,’ dropped in order to secure a more lenient sentence for her client.

Minh Beo is facing up to five years and eight months behind bars if convicted. However, if the lawyer can prove Minh Beo not guilty of the charge, his imprisonment could be reduced to two years.

The pretrial hearing is likely to end without all of Yamamoto’s goals achieved, paving the way for many more proceedings for the case.

If so, Minh Beo’s lawyer can ask to postpone the scheduled June 10 preliminary hearing in order to collect evidence to defend her client.

According to a source close to Tuoi Tre, Minh Beo’s mother has obtained a visa to travel to the U.S.

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