DALLAS, TX — In 2012, a high school student was attacked and raped while trying to catch a bus for school in Dallas. Almost 6 years after the attack, that student is now sharing her story of survival
In April of 2012, 22-year-old Lida Nguyen was 17.
She was rushing to catch her bus at 4711 Maple Ave. near Parkland Hospital when someone grabbed her.
Surveillance video shows Tommy Robinson, a 65-year-old homeless man, charging towards Nguyen and then the two disappear from the screen.
A police report alleges that Robinson beat Nguyen, stabbed her 20 times, and then raped her in a dumpster enclosure.
Nguyen had never publicly spoken about the attack, until now.
“I was coming in and out of consciousness,” she said. “All I know is I was screaming for help, and no one came.”
“I had my niece in my head. My life flashed before my eyes, and I didn’t think I would ever see them again. I couldn’t say goodbye.”
Court documents say that Robinson stood over Nguyen and spoke before leaving the scene.
“He told me to ‘have a nice life’…and then he left,” Nguyen said.
Police later found a bloody Robinson washing in a nearby creek. Police say he had Nguyen’s phone and a bloody knife.
Because Nguyen had a hard time remembering the attack, prosecutors did not pursue a rape charge. Robinson was instead charged with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony that carries the same punishment.
He never saw a courtroom until last week.
For almost six years, prosecutors fought to prove Robinson was competent to stand trial. On Friday, he was finally convicted. Sentencing was scheduled for Tuesday at 1:15 p.m.
Nguyen testified during the trial and says it was a weight off her shoulders.
“I could finally breathe,” she said.
On Monday, Robinson will face a judge to be sentenced and Nguyen will have a chance to speak.
The 22-year-old still has scars on her chest from the attack, but she told WFAA that she never let those scars define her.
Nguyen now lives in Florida, and while waiting for Robinson to go to trial she graduated from college.
She now wants to teach English abroad.
Her scars are now proof that she’s overcome atrocity, and wants to let others facing the same hurdles to not give up.
“I’m going to tell him tomorrow that I did have a nice life, and that I’m going to continue to have a nice life and thrive,” Nguyen said.
“He hurt me, but I survived.”