A 44-year-old man who was convicted June 29 of aggravated sexual battery for repeatedly touching an 11-year-old girl inappropriately during a birthday party had his recommended sentence set at six years in prison and a fine of $11,000 by the same jury that found him guilty.
According to court documents, Brian Dinh Nguyen, of Sterling, was employed as a coach at a Loudoun County gymnastics facility and was accused of targeting an 11-year-old girl who attended a free gym event Dec. 2, 2017 at the facility.
The victim told a friend what happened, and the friend intervened to defend the victim from Nguyen. The girls told their parents about the incident on the way home from the gym.
“The defendant was there to ensure the safety of all of the children, to be a protector,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Meredith M. Burke told the jury during the three-day trial. “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.
In that case, when Nguyen was a substitute teacher in Stafford County in 2014, he was ordered to serve three months in jail for inappropriate conduct in a classroom. According to court documents in that case, Nguyen was substituting in an art class at Colonial Forge High School.
The assault and battery conviction resulted from him grabbing the thigh of a teenage girl. Nguyen was also accused of other sexually inappropriate comments and actions, witnessed by a number of students.
At Nguyen’s sentencing hearing in Loudoun County, Steward also told the jury that “the defendant picked a child whom he thought was weak and who wouldn’t say anything. Fortunately for all of us, he chose poorly. 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 then deliberated for another two hours and fixed Nguyen’s sentence at six years in prison and a fine of $11,000.
Judge J. Howe Brown Jr., who presided over the jury trial, will also preside over Nguyen’s formal sentencing at 9 a.m. Sept. 11.
Nguyen will also be required to register as a violent sex offender for the rest of his life. For information about the Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry, visit sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov.