A U.S. citizen formerly residing in Vietnam has received a nine-year jail term for attempting to engage in sexual conduct with a Vietnamese boy.
The sentence was handed out to Joseph Ricky Park, 66, by a U.S. federal court on Oct. 28, the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City stated Monday. He also received a lifetime of supervised release for the crime, local media reported.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations at the U.S. Consulate General in HCMC (HSI/HCMC) in partnership with the Diplomatic Security Service at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi had led the investigation with assistance from other HSI field offices and Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security.
The Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case in Washington, D.C.
According to the verdict, in January 2015, Park invited three Vietnamese boys to his apartment under the guise of English language instruction.
Once inside, he initiated inappropriate sexual contact with one of the boys, then 11, who later disclosed the abuse to officials at the Public Security Ministry, and to HSI during a forensic interview.
In January 2016, Park was indicted by a federal court for “engaging or attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place,” and was subsequently arrested by HSI Guam in February 2016 and removed to Washington, D.C.
Park appealed his indictment but remained in custody throughout the legal process, which was resolved when he pleaded guilty in February this year.
Court documents showed Park has multiple prior convictions for offenses against minors. In 1987, he was convicted in Connecticut of two counts of injury or risk of injury to children and one count of sexual assault for which he received a 10-year sentence. In 2003, he was convicted of attempted corruption of a minor in Cuba and served more than two years in prison, VNExpress‘s Minh Nga reported.
“This kind of heinous and evil activity has no place here, abroad or in-transit” said a police officer. “Those seeking to commit such abhorrent crimes and evade detection cannot hide from the highly skilled and dedicated investigators.” the officer added.