MOORHEAD — The underage teen who was sexually abused by an ex-North Dakota State University administrator said she can succeed in life despite the emotional impacts of her perpetrator's actions.
“I see myself as a survivor, not as a victim,” the teen wrote in a statement that was read Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Clay County District Court during Viet Doan’s sentencing hearing.
Doan, who resigned last month as NDSU’s enrollment management administrative systems director, sat still and silent for most of the hearing as an impact statement from the girl was read. Judge Michael Fritz ordered Doan to serve 180 days in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty in September to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years in Minnesota.
Doan, 44, admitted to touching the teen inappropriately over her clothes while she slept in mid-November at a home in Moorhead. She told police about a similar allegation in Bismarck, which is why Doan is slated for trial Nov. 20 in Burleigh County District Court on two Class C felony charges of sexual assault.
That case was filed in May and detailed how Doan allegedly fondled the girl under her clothes while she slept on Nov. 21. The Clay County charges were filed in January.
The girl described in her impact statement fear and anxiety caused by Doan’s actions. She said she was always on the lookout for Doan and his vehicle. In one instance, she hid in her car after seeing him walk to a place she planned to go into.
“I realized I shouldn’t have to change my life to match his,” she said.
The plea deal has “enough teeth” so if Doan “strays in anyway” he will face serious consequences, prosecutor Pamela Foss said. He could be resentenced to 10 years in prison if he violates his probation, which will last a decade.
He doesn't have to register as a sex offender unless he breaks the terms of his probation, Foss said.
When the judge asked if Doan had anything to say before he was jailed, he said he understands the depth of the impacts and that he is “truly sorry.”
“This entire process has been a humbling process,” he said.
Doan had been employed by NDSU since 2005 and oversaw the Administrative Systems Department. He was put on paid administrative leave May 9, a day after the Burleigh County charges were filed.
University administration was aware of the Clay County charges before the Burleigh County complaint was filed, but Doan was "placed on a work-from-home arrangement," an NDSU spokesperson has said.