Wednesday, November 23, 2005Gary Glitter [real name Paul Francis Gadd], the 1970's British singer who gave us the anthem "Rock and Roll (Part 2)," whose tribal beats, fuzzy guitar and "Hey!!" refrain ring out in stadiums across the world, is in some serious legal trouble in Vietnam. The London Times reports he's facing charges of having sex with several underage girls, one allegedly as young as 12.
The [61 year old] former glam rock star...told investigators in the resort town of Vung Tau, southern Vietnam, that he came to the country looking for tourism opportunities and was duped by the girls, who said they were in their twenties, state-run newspapers said.Sadly, it's not the first time Gadd/Glitter has been in this type of jam. His history appears to be that of a repeat pedophile offender who's undeterred by a string of jail terms, as well as a number of "lucky breaks" and acquittals:
"When they met me, they all told me that they were older than 20," the official Thanh Nien newspaper quoted Glitter as saying. The former pop star, 61, also said he had been helping the girls to "learn to speak English", the newspaper reported.
Under Vietnamese law, sexual contact with a minor under the age of 18 carries a range of penalties, depending on the charge.
Child rape carries the maximum penalty of death by firing squad. If Gadd is charged and convicted of sex with a 12-year-old, regardless of whether he had her consent, that would still be considered child rape under Vietnamese law, Vietnamese police have said.
If he is imprisoned, the former singer will find Vietnamese jails very different from Horfield Prison in Bristol, where he served two months in 1999 for possessing "hard-core, sick and degrading" [pornographic] images of children. Vietnamese jails are notorious for their squalor, harsh treatment of prisoners and lack of attention to sanitation, hygiene and food.Subsequently, he served jail time in Cambodia on another series of child porn charges, and was later deported from that nation in 2003 at the behest of the deputy prime minister, Sar Kheng. Kheng appealed to the Interior Ministry to ask Glitter to leave "as soon as possible" as a "preventative measure for protecting the well-being of our [country's] children." Japan's Mainichi Daily News reports,
Even if he is not prosecuted in Vietnam, Glitter could face charges in this country if he ever returned under Britain’s "sex tourism" laws — the Sex Offences Act 1996.
The case has been highly publicized in state-controlled media, which had reported that Glitter was seen in Vung Tau with several teenage girls, whom he invited to his home, since moving to the area in March.More:
Tuesday's Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper quoted Glitter telling police that he had been duped by the girls. "When we met, they all said they were over 20 years of age," Glitter was quoted as saying.
On Monday, the paper had reported that the two girls said they had been paid for sex with Glitter. The 12-year-old told police she had sex three times with Glitter, who paid her 150,000 dong (US$10) each time, the paper said. Police have refused to confirm whether either of the youths claimed they were paid for sex.
Neighbors on Monday said they were surprised to read the allegations against Glitter in the newspaper. They said the only problem they ever had with him was that he sometimes brought home friends to his oceanside villa and sang songs too loudly.
"Before this, I never suspected him" of doing anything he's accused of, said Tran Cong Khanh, 48. "I thought he just liked children."
Ireland Online: "Glitter faces death sentence"
Mexico Ledger: "Gary Glitter Denies Child-Sex Allegation"
Mainichi Daily News: "Vietnamese police launch criminal investigation into Brit rocker Gary Glitter"
BBC News: "Gary Glitter arrested in Vietnam" and "Fall of Glitter The Pop Superstar" [7 January 2003]