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Facebook leads to arrest of man in O.C. sexual assault case

June 5, 2012 |  5:47 pm

A Boston man was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Santa Ana for allegedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Orange County girl  in the mid-'90s and then contacting her through Facebook in early 2011, according to prosecutors.

Vanna Hong, 44, faces three felony counts of lewd acts on a child under the age of 14, a felony count of continuous sexual abuse and a felony count of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Prosecutors have included sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual assault of a child.

Prosecutors say Hong arrived Friday at Los Angeles International Airport, expecting to meet the victim. He was met instead by police, who arrested him.

In January of 1995, Hong, then 28 and living in Rhode Island, met the girl during a visit to Orange County, authorities said. Over a period of nearly two years, prosecutors say Hong drove several times and finally flew roundtrip to California, taking the girl to motels in Garden Grove and Anaheim to have sex. Hong is accused of committing aggravated sexual assault on the girl by raping her at least once.

The incidents went unreported, and no charges were filed at the time. Last January, prosecutors say Hong used Facebook to contact the woman, now 29 and married to a police officer, and suggested they meet and resume their sexual relationship.

Months later, the woman reported the assaults to the Westminster Police Department, which prompted an investigation.

The Orange County district attorney’s office said in a statement that they were able to file the charges after the statute of limitations because of the nature of the charges and “clear and convincing” evidence in emails and phone calls corroborating the allegations.

Hong is being held on $1-million bail, and if convicted would face a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

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-- Christine Mai-Duc

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