Tuesday, December 27, 2005


How did the aging popster avoid rape charges in Vietnam involving two girls, ages 11 and 12?

He paid off their parents.

The Bangkok Post -- a daily must-read -- has the breaking news:
Glitter has paid $2,000 (about 82,000 baht) each to the families of two Vietnamese girls who had accused him of coercing them into sex, police and his lawyer said. The lawyer said authorities will not charge Glitter with rape, meaning he will not face the death penalty.

The families have since written to police asking for a reduced sentence for Glitter on current charges of "lewd acts with a minor," not the child rape charge, according to lawyer Le Thanh Kinh.

Police and prosecutors said this week they had finished their investigations and would not file child rape charges, though Glitter still will be prosecuted for the lesser lewd acts charge.

As a result, the 61-year-old former singer, who was convicted of child pornography in his native Britain, would likely get as little as six months in prison instead of the death penalty he might have faced on child rape charges, the lawyer said.

"Gary Glitter told me to do anything to reduce the sentence and said he will pay money to do that," Kinh told Deutsche Presse-Agentur by telephone Tuesday. "Two weeks ago, I gave the families of the two girls 2,000 dollars each."

The former singer will plead innocent to the molestation charge when he goes to trial, the lawyer said.

"The compensation doesn't mean that he will plead guilty," Kinh said. "Gary said that he has not done anything so he won't plead guilty."

In Vietnam, any sex with a child under age 16 is considered child rape. Initial medical tests indicated neither the 11-year-old nor that 12-year-old was a virgin. At the time, police told reporters that both girls said it was Glitter who had had intercourse with them.

However, police said this week that they have completed their investigations and would recommend that no child rape charges be pursued because there is no evidence proving that it was Glitter who had sex with the girls.

"Our investigation found out that [Glitter] just kissed, fondled and licked the girls without having sexual intercourse and that he paid them for each time he did that," said Nguyen Duc Trinh, deputy chief of the Vung Tau police investigation unit.
Two grand to avoid a firing squad. Sounds like a deal to us.

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