A Boston man who repeatedly raped an Orange County girl beginning when she was 12–and then reached out to her via Facebook when she was in her 30s and married–pleaded guilty Friday to lewd acts upon a child under 14.
Vanna Hong, 45, was immediately sentenced to eight years in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
This was an unusual case because of the amount of time that passed between the assaults and Hong being charged for them. A statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office indicates prosecutors "were able to file the case beyond the statute of limitations based on clear and convincing admissible evidence that corroborates the victim's allegations."
In January 1995, then-28-year-old Hong met the 12-year-old when visiting from Rhode Island and drove and flew to California several times to sexually assault the girl through September 1996. This included having unlawful sexual intercourse with her in a Garden Grove motel, engaging in that, oral copulation and putting his fingers inside her at The Alamo Inn in Anaheim and forcibly raping her.
Obviously not one to leave well enough alone, Hong contacted the by-then grown woman through Facebook in 2011, asking to see her again so they could resume their sexual relationship. He knew she was married–to someone working in law enforcement no less.
She arranged for him to come to Orange County for a visit–and then contacted law enforcement on Aug. 17, 2011. It was the first time she had reported the sexual assaults she endured as a child. When Hong arrived at LAX on June 1, 2012, to meet the woman, he was arrested instead.
He pleaded guilty Friday to three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14. Charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child and aggravated sexual assault of a child, both felonies, were dismissed. When all the charges were originally filed in June 2012, Hong was looking at up to 15 years to life in prison with a conviction.