Dallas man gets 50 years in prison for attacking teen

The Dallas man convicted of stabbing a then 17-year-old girl more than 20 times will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

Tommy Robinson was sentenced to 50 years in prison on Tuesday for the 2012 attack on Lida Nguyen, who now lives out of state. She returned to Dallas to confront her attacker, but the 65-year-old is in the hospital after he tried to commit suicide.

Nguyen's six-year nightmare is finally over. She testified in the sentencing phase, explaining to the courthouse how she still bears the scars of that day, physically and emotionally.

The judge ruled whatever happened to Robinson was by his own hand and sentenced him to 50 years in prison. Nguyen, who is now 22 years old, told the court she still bears the scars of the violent attack when she was just 17.

In April 2012, Robinson abducted Nguyen, dragged her behind an Oaklawn area furniture and raped her. He then stabbed her 20 times in the chest, neck, arms and back and left her for dead.

Nguyen told the court she's afraid to go anywhere alone, day or night. She said the nightmares haunt her in her sleep while the flashbacks haunt her during the day. She was not able to give her impact statement in the court so she read it outside.

"Tommy Robinson: you may have hurt me, but you will not hurt me anymore or anyone else,” she said. “I did and I continue to have a nice life. I survived, and I thrive. But no one should have gone through this trauma. What happened to me does not define who I am, I define myself every day through my own actions. I am no longer a victim. I am a fighter."

Nguyen feels slightly cheated that Robinson was not in the courtroom. She wanted the opportunity to look Robinson in the eyes and tell him what he did to her.

Nguyen wanted a life sentence, but she says 50 years was close enough and is satisfied.

Robinson's attorney was hoping for a lesser sentence, saying his client suffers from mental illness.

"The crime was a byproduct of the mental illness, delusions that he was living with daily," said defense attorney Paul Johnson. "So our argument was you don't punish a person who is not acting under free will."

Prosecutors are satisfied that the sentence means Robinson will likely die in prison.

"I'm not concerned with if he was evil or not. What he did was atrocious," said prosecutor Jason Fine. "Whether he's broken or not, I hope he is for what he did to the victim in this case."

Robinson will have to serve at least 25 years in prison before he can even be eligible for parole.

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