A photo from the Facebook page of Hong Quang Minh, or Minh Beo, shows him posing at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport on March 18, before his flight to the United States
A Vietnamese comedian has been arrested in the US on charges of sexual offenses involving a minor while he was on tour in California, local media reported on Tuesday.
Hong Quang Minh, 39, is now in Orange County Jail and slated to appear in court this April 15, according to news website Zing.
His bail was set at US$1 million.
News website Orange County Register reported that Minh was arrested last Thursday. He now faces charges of oral copulation of a minor, attempting to commit a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14, and meeting with a minor with the intent to engage in a lewd conduct.
If convicted, he could be jailed for up to five years and eight months and face mandatory lifetime sex offender registration, Orange County Register reported, citing the district attorney's office.
Speaking with Thanh Nien, the actor's manager also confirmed his arrest, saying that he may have been drugged that day. His family in the US will hire an attorney to defend him, the manager said.
Minh, better known for his stage name Minh Beo or Fatty Minh, started his month-long tour around the US on March 18. He was set to perform for Vietnamese communities in different cities.
In its report, the Orange County news website cited prosecutors as saying Minh met a group of dancers of a talent show at a local radio station on March 20 and told them he was hosting auditions for a video project.
When a boy arrived for an audition three days later, the actor allegedly abused him sexually, according to the news report.
The boy later reported the incident to local police who launched an investigation.
Minh also attempted to set up a meeting with an undercover officer who posed as a minor to approach him, the website said, citing prosecutors.
He is accused of intending to commit a sexual assault at the meeting and was subsequently arrested.