What sounds like
the opening of a bad joke was actually the elements in an extortion scheme, according to police.
Thuy Nguyen, the married woman, and Tuan Nguyen, the homeowner, were granted accelerated rehabilitation Thursday
by Superior Court Judge George Thim on charges of first-degree unlawful restrain and threatening pending
against them. The two defendants are not related.
Under the program available for
first-time, non-violent offenders, they were placed on two years probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.
If they complete the probation without a new arrest the charges will be dismissed.
action ended the court case, but failed to answer the myriad of questions surrounding a very strange case. Each defendant,
reading from a yellow legal pad, simply told the judge they feel terrible for what they did and won't offend again.
Their lawyers, Donald Cretella and Joseph Colarusso, would only comment that it was the appropriate
resolution of the case. The monk, Ten Lam, of Vernon, was not in the courtroom. His lawyer, Richard Mather, would only
comment that his client was glad it was over.
It all began last Sept. 29 when Lam walked
into the Trumbull Police Department. Police said Lam, who is Vietnamese and speaks little English, related that he believed
he was the victim of an extortion.
He explained that as a monk he is celibate and is not permitted to
have even sexually suggestive speech with a woman but that was all put to an extreme test the previous day.
Lam had been picked up by Thuy Nguyen in a red Mercedes and she had driven him to a house on Leffert Toad in Trumbull,
Once there, Nguyen had insisted he go into the bedroom with her,
he told police. They were both on the bed when police said Tuan Nguyen, the owner of the house, jumped out of the closet with
a video camera and began taping the couple. Police said Lam then told them Tuan Nguyen demanded $50,000 from him or he would
show the video to the monk's congregation.
On Oct. 8, Lam arranged to meet Thuy Nguyen
in the parking lot of the Westfield mall to give her the money. Bridgeport police set him up with a hidden microphone and
the Secret Service supplied him with counterfeit money.
Members of the Southwest
Regional Emergency Response Team, a unit of heavily armed officers from surrounding communities, moved in and arrested Thuy
Nguyen without incident in the mall parking lot.
Police said Thuy Nguyen claimed
she and Lam had been secret lovers for years. Because she is married and he is supposed to be celibate, she told police they
often held their trysts at out of the way places such as the Garden Hilton Hotel in Shelton.
But on Sept. 28, she told police she thought she spotted someone familiar outside the hotel and decided instead
to take Lam, who she affectionately called "Loy," to her close friend Tuan Nguyen's house because she believed Tuan
Nguyen and his wife were away.
She told police she was in the bathroom getting ready when she heard
Lam calling from the bedroom. When she came out she saw Tuan Nguyen standing in front of Lam holding what appeared to be a
gun and a video camera.
Thuy Nguyen said she felt frightened and ashamed. She said Tuan Nguyen
told her he was going to show the video to the Vietnamese community. She said she begged him not to, agreeing to pay him $50,000
if he would keep their relationship a secret. She told police she intended to sign over to Tuan Nguyen a piece of land she
owns in Vietnam instead of the money.
Contact Daniel Tepfer at 203-330-6308
or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter.com/dantepfer