Both sides rested their cases Friday in the weeklong trial of a Cal Poly student accused of sexual battery against a female friend in March.
Frank Nguyen, 21, is charged with sexual battery and sexual penetration with a foreign object, both felonies, after the alleged victim, also a Cal Poly student, told officers that he held her down and sexually assaulted her in her bedroom after the two spent the evening hanging out in her apartment.
Nguyen has pleaded not guilty to both counts.
On the fifth day of testimony Friday, defense attorney Patrick Fisher questioned Nguyen on the stand about his nearly two-hour interview with police officers on the day of his arrest.
Fisher played an audio recording of the interview, in which Nguyen repeatedly tells officers that the alleged victim — identified in court only as Tina Doe — never expressed consent, but never said no.
In the recording, Nguyen told officers that he and the alleged victim became friends after meeting at the Cal Poly Chinese Student Association. On the night of March 23, he said, the two were hanging out at the alleged victim’s apartment in what he described as a casual social visit that slowly turned romantic.
After the alleged victim cooked dinner, Nguyen told officers, the two went to her bedroom, laid on the bed and watched a movie.
After a while, the two began to kiss and he removed her bra and fondled her genitals, he told officers.
“She didn’t push me off. She didn’t say anything,” Nguyen told officers. “I thought that it was all OK.” At one point, he said, she was on top of him.
Soon she began “breathing heavily,” he said, and he stopped.
That’s when Nguyen said the alleged victim suggested he should leave, which he did.
During his interview, Nguyen told officers that he was a virgin and was only trying “to get to third base.”
Officers read back to him a text message exchange between the two the following day, wherein Nguyen repeatedly apologizes for the previous night and the alleged victim accuses him of sexually assaulting her.
The alleged victim, however, told officers that she asked Nguyen to leave after dinner and repeatedly told him to stop when he began hugging and kissing her. The alleged victim’s side of the story regarding the events that night was not discussed in court Friday.
During the interview, Nguyen told officers that the alleged victim told him twice that he should leave. But on the stand Friday, he said she only suggested it once, after they were cuddling on the bed.
When asked by Fisher about the inconsistencies, Nguyen said he was confused and intimidated by the officers’ aggressiveness.
According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran, if Nguyen is convicted of both counts, he could face a maximum of eight years in state prison, though prosecutors are not likely to pursue the harshest sentence.
If convicted, Nguyen would be required to register as a sex offender.
Fisher and Deputy District Attorney Julie Antos are scheduled to present closing arguments Monday afternoon in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.