Sentencing postponed for Dallas man who attacked teenage girl in 2012
A Dallas woman who was attacked, robbed and sexually assaulted six years ago will have to wait to see her attacker sentenced.
Surveillance video from 2012 captured Tommy Robinson running up on then 17-year-old Lida Nguyen in Oak Lawn as she walked to a bus stop to go to school.
Robinson was convicted last Friday of aggravated robbery. He was supposed to be sentenced on Monday, but it was canceled because he tried to commit suicide.
During the 2012 attack, Robinson knocked Nguyen to the ground, sexually assaulted her and stabbed her 20 times, leaving her to die behind a dumpster.
Nguyen now plans to speak at Robinson's sentencing.
"He didn't win. I rose above it," Nguyen told Fox 4 Sunday. "I used to have nightmares and flashbacks when it happened, but after a few years it just gets a little bit easier."
Robinson left Nguyen in critical condition. She says she doesn't remember everything from that morning when she was walking on Maple Avenue.
According to the police report, Robinson attacked her, strangled her and dragged her behind a dumpster down the block to continue his assault.
The report says Robinson left her bleeding with stab wounds to her chest, neck, back and arms, telling her to "have a nice life."
Nguyen says she remembers trying to crawl toward the street for help.
"I just think it's human nature, a natural response, you want to live. It's not your time to die, so you just continue," said Nguyen.
She was found by employees of a nearby furniture store who were taking out the garbage.
Eduardo Gonzalez was one of the men who found Nguyen bloody and beaten and called 911. Initially, he thought she was dead until she moved and reached out to him.
Months later, Nguyen returned to the furniture store to thank Eduardo and the other man that called 911 and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived.
“But in reality, the hero here is her,” Gonzalez said.
Dallas police found Robinson at a nearby creek with the victim's cell phone, a bloody knife and blood on his hands and arms.
"He wanted her to die. He left her there to die. She didn't," said Tiffani Nguyen, Lida's sister.
Nguyen now lives with her sister's family out of state, but last week she returned to Dallas to face her attacker for the first time since the assault, testifying at his trial.
"It was tough. I tried not to look at him, but he was staring at me the whole time. I just looked straight," said Nguyen.
"His final punishment will be knowing that he didn't hurt my sister in the end. She made it," said Tiffani Nguyen.
As Robinson's court case comes to a close, Nguyen is ready to close this chapter of her life, but still lives with emotional and physical scars of the attack.
"It doesn't make me any weaker, it actually made me stronger that he didn't ruin my life, and I did have a nice life," said Nguyen.
She went on to graduate high school and college, thanks in part to donations from friends and strangers after the attack. Nguyen now has a bachelor's in education and wants to teach English abroad. She also has a message for other sexual assault survivors.
"Just know that what happens to you doesn't define you, you define yourself every day through your actions. And you just keep going, make goals, achieve those goals and make some new ones," said Nguyen.
Nguyen's family says they want Robinson to spend the rest of his life in prison and plan to ask the judge to give him the maximum sentence.
Robinson's attorney plans to call a mental competency expert to testify before he is sentenced. His sentencing was rescheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m.