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Owner of Duc Dinh International accused of rape, lawsuit seeks more than $1M in damages
Houston
   
 
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HOUSTON – A well-known member of the Houston-area Vietnamese community has been accused of rape in a lawsuit filed yesterday.

Seeking more than $1 million in damages, Jane Doe filed suit against Duc Dinh and Duc Dinh International yesterday in Harris County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, for nearly 15 years, Defendants Dinh and DDI have owned and operated the Duc Dinh Center (the Learning Center), a self-described “after-school learning center” that provides academic tutoring for K-12 students, college admissions test preparation, and summer school programs that help students prepare for the upcoming academic year.

“By helping thousands of students excel academically and engaging in philanthropic work, Defendant Dinh has ingratiated himself with the parents of the thousands of students that have attended the Learning Center over the years, as well as the greater Houston Vietnamese community,” the suit states. “Dinh, however, used the Learning Center as a way to identify, access, and groom future victims of his heinous acts, all the while using his positive public image to bolster his credibility and disguise his true nature.

Doe is a former Learning Center student and met Dinh when she was 15 years old.

“While Plaintiff looked up to Defendant Dinh as a mentor and role model, Defendant saw her as a potential target of his nefarious behavior,” the suit states. “After Plaintiff Doe turned 18, Dinh increased his attempts to spend time with Doe outside of his Learning Center. This involved inviting Doe to bars and nightclubs, even though Dinh knew she was not of legal age to drink alcohol.”

On Nov. 3, 2018, Dinh invited Doe to come out with him and his friends to go bar hopping. Dinh explicitly told Doe not to bring her friends. Despite the fact that she was 19, Defendant Dinh purchased numerous drinks for Plaintiff throughout the evening and into the night.

“At each venue, Dinh pumped Doe full of alcohol with the intention that she become intoxicated, as he wanted her to be unable to repel his sexual advances,” the suit states. “After Dinh got Plaintiff intoxicated, Defendant Dinh began to grope and kiss Plaintiff. When Doe would attempt to resist his advances, Dinh would double down on his aggression and pull Doe into his lap and continued to grope and kiss her.

“Dinh also told people that Plaintiff was his girlfriend, despite the fact that he was married. At the end of the night when the bars closed, Plaintiff asked Dinh to take her home.

Dinh, however, had no intention of taking Plaintiff back home. Instead, he drove the two of them to a hotel and rented a room, ignoring Plaintiff’s repeated pleas to be taken home, the suit states.

When she entered the hotel room, Plaintiff immediately made her way to the bathroom and locked herself in. Dinh proceeded to bang on the bathroom door, demanding that Doe come out.

“Based on Doe’s understanding of Dinh’s reputation regarding how he violently reacts when he does not get what he wants, Plaintiff exited the bathroom,” the suit states. “Again ignoring Plaintiff’s pleas and express statement that she did not want to have sex, Dinh put Plaintiff on the bed, took off her clothes, and then raped her.

“There is no dispute that Doe and Dinh engaged in sexual intercourse and other sexual acts. Plaintiff, however, never consented to engaging in such acts and expressly told Dinh she did not consent.”

Doe has filed a criminal complaint against Dinh, which is still ongoing, the suit states.

Doe is suing in order to recover damages for the trauma she has endured and will continue to endure.

Plaintiff Doe is represented by Andrew Dao and Ajay Ketkar of Daly & Black, and Megan Daic of Daic Law.

The firm Daly & Black has been involved in a number of notable cases, including most recently, an insurance dispute in which they obtained a $113 million verdict in Jefferson County on June 11, 2021.

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