Residents at an apartment complex in Ho Chi Minh City have signed a petition demanding that legal proceedings be launched against a man for child molestation, nearly 20 days after the alleged sexual assault took place inside an elevator at the building.
Nguyen Tu Anh, head of the management board of the Galaxy 9 Apartment Complex in District 4, confirmed on Wednesday morning that the board would submit the petition to the municipal People’s Committee and People’s Procuracy on the same day.
The document had been signed by people living at the apartment complex over the past two days, Anh stated.
The petition demanded that legal procedures being carried out against Nguyen Huu Linh, 62, who is a former deputy head of the People’s Procuracy in the central city of Da Nang, for molesting an under 16-year-old girl. It also required competent authorities to impose stern punishment upon the offender once they have sufficient evidence.
The alleged sexual harassment occurred at around 9:10 pm on April 1 and was caught on CCTV installed inside an elevator of the apartment building.
In the video, Linh can be seen grabbing and kissing a young girl, estimated to be somewhere between five and seven years old.
Police officers were able to identify Linh, but not before he had already returned to Da Nang. He was visiting a relative who lives at Galaxy 9 on the day of the incident.
Linh returned to the southern metropolis on April 4 to assist following a police request to cooperate with the investigation.
Phap Luat Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh City Law) newspaper reported on the same day that Linh had confirmed he was the man in the CCTV footage.
Phap Luat quoted the ex-procuracy official as saying that he was just “petting the young girl” and refused to provide further information.
The management board said they had resorted to filing a petition as it has been 17 days since the incident happened, while authorities in District 4 has yet to start any legal procedures.
On April 5, the Ho Chi Minh City Association for Protection of Children's Rights sent a document to the police unit and People’s Procuracy in District 4, as well as the municipal People’s Procuracy, asking them to begin legal proceedings of the case.
The Vietnamese law promulgates that competent authorities must decide whether or not they would carry out the procedures within 20 days after the request was submitted, Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper quoted Nguyen Kieu Hung, a member of the city’s Bar Association, as saying.
As it has been 12 days since the Ho Chi Minh City Association for Protection of Children's Rights filed their request, police now have eight days left to make the decision, and the apartment residents apparently lose their patience.