A U.S. court has sentenced a local man to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing children in Vietnam.
Christopher Edwin Day, 52, received the sentence on May 16 from a court in Florida for two counts of “travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct” and two counts of “attempted coercion and enticement of a minor into illegal sexual activity,” the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi announced Tuesday.
The case began in the summer of 2016 when a local nongovernmental organization in Hanoi reported the potential molestation of a minor boy to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Vietnam.
According to that report, Day had traveled frequently between Florida and Vietnam over the course of many years to meet and sexually abuse underage boys whom he had befriended and groomed online. He sought to buy his victims’ silence with money and gifts.
Christopher Edwin Day when under arrest for sexually abusing children in Vietnam, 2019. Photo courtesy of Tampa City’s police
HSI Vietnam had worked with Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security and the U.S. State Department’s Regional Security Office in Hanoi to identify and interview more than 10 of Day’s victims and their parents. During the investigation, Day had returned to Florida, and HSI Vietnam requested assistance from the HSI office in Florida’s Tampa City, which subsequently investigated, interviewed, and arrested Day for child sex tourism in August 2019.
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa, with Day eventually pleading guilty to the above charges in February 2020.
During sentencing, one victim shared the impact of Day’s abuse, stating he dropped out of school, suffered from insomnia, and had difficulty socializing and maintaining employment.
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