by Sheila Gardner

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March 5, 2013
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Man sentenced to prison in attack on women

A 27-year-old Fremont, Calif., man was sentenced Tuesday to 32 months in Nevada state prison for beating two women at a Stateline casino so severely that one victim suffered a miscarriage, and the other had extensive facial damage.

District Judge Tod Young told Huy Phan he must serve 12 months before he is eligible for parole.

Phan pleaded guilty in December to battery causing substantial bodily harm which carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

"You cannot commit an act of violence of this nature and not be sent to prison," Young said.

Both women testified Tuesday how the Jan. 8, 2012, incident impacted their lives and their families.

According to reports, the women were at the casino for a "girls weekend" when they were confronted in the casino hallway by Phan, his sister, and four other men.

The women said one of the group made a derogatory remark to which she responded, "You can't say that," and the assault began.

"It flipped my life upside down," said the woman who suffered facial injuries. "I don't go out anymore, my family has been through hell. I think about it all the time."

The woman, who wept through her statement, said she and her 11-year-old son were in counseling, and that she had undergone multiple surgical procedures in an effort to repair damage to her right eye, jaw, nose and face.

She lost consciousness during the attack.

"I feel like so much was taken away from me and my family that I can't get back. It changed me forever," she said.

The woman said she and her family moved.

"I didn't feel safe where I was. I felt he would come get me again. I was scared all the time," she said.

The second victim said she was unaware she was pregnant, but found out in the emergency room that she was four weeks along.

"I was having a lot of pain. I took a lot of blows and punches," she said.

She made weekly visits to her obstetrician who was concerned about a "threatened miscarriage," which happened six weeks later.

"The baby died," she said.

The woman said she became pregnant again, and delivered a child five weeks ago.

"I was really lucky," she said.

The woman said she had difficulty seeing her friend so upset.

"It affected all of our lives," she said. "To see my friend humiliated. It almost felt like a sexual assault, even though it wasn't. Her clothes were ripped off, and I lost the baby. I want the defendant to know what he did to us. I don't know any human being who could be OK with doing that."

Neither woman knew the assailants, or what prompted the attack.

"We were innocent bystanders, just two girls on a trip to Lake Tahoe to relax," she said.

"I feel horrible things happened to them and the things I have to face. I just wish the confrontation had never happened," Phan said.

He claimed he tried to break up the fight and protect his sister.

Phan told Young his family would suffer if he went to prison.

"I wouldn't wish that on anybody - for them, or for myself. It's been a nightmare for me," he said.

None of the other alleged assailants was arrested or charged.

"Every statement you made has been about how hard it's been on you," Young said. "It is going to be hard on you, but for these victims, It's going to be hard on them for the rest of their lives."

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The Record Courier Updated Mar 6, 2013 08:55AM Published Mar 5, 2013 06:30PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.