Man, 38, Gets 30 Years For Raping Girl, 17

SANTA ANA A 38-year-old Midway City man convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl in his office and sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a camp, was sentenced Friday to 30 years to life in prison.

Huy Ngoc Nguyen, a longtime activist in Orange County’s Vietnamese-American community, raped the 17-year-old on Feb. 28, 2004, while she was on a date with Nguyen, said Farrah Emami of the District Attorney’s

The 13-year-old was molested at a New Year celebration on Jan. 1, 1997,
at a youth group camp at Big Bear, Emami said.

Nguyen’s arrest sent shock waves through Orange County’s Vietnamese
community, where he had been a volunteer and leader for more than a decade, including serving as leader of the annual Lunar New Year Tet Festival at a community college.

According to evidence at trial, the 17-year-old met Nguyen through a mutual friend and the two went out together. He told the girl that he wanted to stop by his office and took her inside.

Emami said he then locked the door and raped her as she cried and protested.

The girl told a friend what happened, and the friend said Nguyen had also sexually assaulted her sister and encouraged her to go to police, Emami said.

Nguyen, who was 31 when he sexually assaulted the then 13-year-old, was at the camp in Big Bear because he had many friends in the youth group and was affiliated with the organization, Emami said.

The attack took place under a blanket when the lights had been turned off while the campers were telling ghost stories, Emami said.

Prosecutors showed during the trial that Nguyen had a history of forcing himself on various women.

A woman about the same age as Nguyen said they dated for four years, beginning when she was 17, and that over the course of the relationship, he repeatedly forced her to have sex. She said that when she tried to avoid him, he would show up at her school, church and social events to harass her.

The woman said she would unwillingly leave with Nguyen and he would take her to his uncle’s home and rape her, according to Emami.

She said that on one occasion, Nguyen sexually assaulted her friend at church, then took her to a motel and raped her, Emami said.

No charges could be brought in those cases because the statute of
limitations had run out, but she eventually came forward to help prevent what happened to her from happening to others, Emami said.

He was convicted of the sexual assaults on Feb. 20.

(© 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)