One of the reasons Huu Nhut Le keeps getting released is because he has no criminal record. One reason he has no record is because he's never pleaded guilty or had a trial. His latest release has heaped scorn upon the criminal justice system.
The Winnipeg Sun reports that Le, 30, was released from custody earlier this month. Although the details of his bail hearing are covered by a publication ban, it is believed the conditions imposed upon Le amount to virtual house arrest.
Le is no stranger to judicial interim release; been there, done that.
The 30-year-old was arrested on June 8 and charged with three counts of sexual assault, one count of uttering death threats, and one count of theft under $5,000. It is alleged that on June 4 he grabbed an 18-year-old woman, put his arms around her, and grabbed her wrist. He is accused of attempting to push her down while threatening her.
About 90 minutes later, Le was alleged to have touched a 14-year-old girl on her upper body. The teen managed to flee.
Two days later, Le is accused of inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl on a city bus. The girl told police after contact with the man, she noticed her cellphone was gone.
Le was released on bail on a Friday, the same day he was arrested. One of the terms of his release was that he was to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 years without another adult being present.
On the Sunday, two days after being released on bail, police observed Le at a shopping mall talking to a pair of 13-year-old girls. He was again arrested and faces an additional charge of breach of his bail conditions.
Breaching a condition of bail and merely having a conversation with a couple of 13-year-olds is no reason to keep someone in custody; he was released again three days later.
On June 22, he was again arrested on other sexual assault charges. But he was released for a third time on Aug. 1.
Mike Sutherland, president of the Winnipeg Police Association, blames the slow pace of the judicial system for the revolving door Le keeps going through. Sutherland was quoted in the Winnipeg Sun as saying, "If you have an individual who would have been processed through the courts, and perhaps incarcerated, and not given the opportunity to commit repeated crimes...we might be in a situation where we would truly have some accountability and some swift justice."
According to Sutherland, Le's situation is not unique and police do not have enough resources to properly monitor those who are out on bail.
Victims' groups are not happy with Le's releases either. Rosalind Prober, the president of Beyond Borders, a group that combats child exploitation, was quoted by Canoe News as saying, "How many times do we carry this charade on before we look at the rights of the children he has allegedly victimized?"
Members of Manitoba's Progressive Conservative Party are criticizing the NDP government for not committing enough resources to the province's criminal justice system.