Police in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday initiated legal proceedings against Nguyen Huu Linh, a former procuracy official in central Da Nang City, for molesting an under 16-year-old person, 20 days after he was caught on camera groping and forcefully kissing a young girl in an apartment elevator.
The police unit and People’s Procuracy in District 4 confirmed they had filed charges against Linh, 61, a resident of Hai Chau District, Da Nang, who retired as deputy head of the municipal People’s Procuracy in June last year.
He is charged for molesting an under 16-year-old person, a crime punishable by six months to three years in prison in accordance with Vietnam’s Penal Code.
Linh has yet to be arrested, but he is required not to leave his place of residence.
The alleged sexual harassment occurred at around 9:10 pm on April 1 and was caught on CCTV installed in an elevator of an apartment building in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City.
In the video, Linh can be seen grabbing and kissing a young girl, estimated to be somewhere between five and seven years old.
He was visiting a relative who lives at the Galaxy 9 apartment building on the day of the incident.
In a brief interview with Phap Luat Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh (Ho Chi Minh City Law) newspaper on April 4, Linh said he was just “petting the young girl” and refused to provide further information.
The management board of the Galaxy 9 on Wednesday submitted a petition to the municipal People’s Committee and People’s Procuracy, demanding that legal proceedings be launched against Linh.
The document had previously been signed by many people living at the apartment complex, as no update regarding Linh’s charges was announced at the time.
The identity of the child has not been revealed so far to protect her.
The family of the victim claimed they had reached a consensus with Linh so they did not want him to be criminally charged.
But the Vietnamese law allows police to overrule the family's desire to press charges against the suspect, given the clear video evidence.