A new civil lawsuit charges that a teacher and coach at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento sexually assaulted a female student in December 2009 and that Catholic church and school officials could and should have prevented the crimes.
The complaint is filed against Minh Anh Nguyen, the school and a Washington, D.C.-based religious order called the Lasallian Christian Brothers, which operates the school. Nguyen was a teacher and coach at the high school.
The student, JANE DOE 20, says the crimes happened while she was at a volleyball tournament in Orange County on or around December 4, 2009 while Nguyen was in her hotel room after curfew. Allegedly Nguyen gave her a massage so she would not be tense for the game the next day, During the massage, Nguyen lifted the teen’s bra and pushed down her sweatpants.
Nguyen assured the student and her parents that he had expertise in athletic massage and that he had provided massage therapy to other student at the school.
The Chicago-based support group called SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) worries that others could have been harmed by Nguyen but might be too afraid to speak up and report their abuse.
“We hope that school officials will do everything in their power to help anyone who has suffered abuse to step forward and seek help” said Joelle Casteix of Orange County, SNAP Western Regional Director. “They should be contacting not only students but alumni, employees and former employees asking them to work with law enforcement if they have suspicions about or knowledge of Nguyen’s misdeeds. While these assaults generally take place in secret, often other people have seen suspicious behaviors. Those people must step forward if kids are to be protected.”
“Police and prosecutors obviously must feel the charges are credible since they have brought Nguyen to trial twice,” said Casteix.
Nguyen was arrested in or around February 2010. Charges were dismissed against him on December 8, 2010 after two mistrials in Orange County.
Sacramento attorney Dr. Joseph C. George represents the victim (916-641-7300, firstname.lastname@example.org)