A Loudoun County jury last week found Brian Dinh Nguyen, 44, of Sterling, guilty of aggravated sexual battery of an 11-year-old girl.
According to evidence presented during a three-day trial, the assault happened Dec. 2, 2017, when the victim went to a local gymnastics facility for a free gym event to celebrate her friend’s birthday. Nguyen was a gymnastics coach there and during the evening, he targeted the victim and repeatedly touched her inappropriately. The victim told her friend, who confronted Nguyen. The girls told their parents about his actions on the way home from the gym.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Meredith M. Burke urged the jury to hold Nguyen responsible for his actions. “The defendant was there to ensure the safety of all of the children, to be a protector,” she said. “Instead, he became a predator, and when the victim turned to her 11-year-old friend for help, her friend did something that no child should ever have to do and stepped into the role of the protector.”
The jury deliberated for nearly seven hours before finding Nguyen guilty.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joshua P. Steward introduced evidence of the defendant’s prior conviction for assault and battery and told the jury that Nguyen picked a child he thought wouldn’t say anything. “Fortunately for all of us, he chose poorly,” Steward said. “The victim, while quiet and reserved, was courageous enough to recognize what he was doing and turn to her friend for help, and together they have helped us bring a child predator to justice.”
The jury deliberated for another two hours and fixed Nguyen’s sentence at six years in prison and a fine of $11,000.
Nguyen’s formal sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 11 before Judge J. Howe Brown Jr. who presided over the trial.
Pursuant to Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, Nguyen will also be required to register as a violent sex offender for the rest of his life. Information about the Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry and those on it can be found on the Virginia State Police website: http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov.