An Oxford High School gym teacher has been charged with rape, aggravated rape, and assault and battery against a minor child. Dung V. Nguyen, 40 years old, was held on $5,000 bail on Monday, May 20. A Dudley District Court judge has forbidden all contact between the teacher and the girl. In addition, any contact between the teacher and anyone under age 16 must be supervised.
School superintendent Allen W. Himmelberger met with faculty and students on Tuesday to let them voice safety concerns and to assure everyone that the school was safe. He admitted that the underage girl was a student at Oxford but declared that none of the alleged assaults had been committed there. The superintendent acknowledged that he has been criticized by some for his act in placing Nguyen on administrative leave during the investigation.
A prosecutor stated that the girl accused the teacher of touching her inappropriately on numerous occasions over the past two years. According to Police Chief David Armstrong in Holden, where Nguyen had been staying at his brother’s house, the gym teacher admitted to them that he had touched the girl. Oxford police have since talked to Holden officials.
Both parents and children expressed some surprise at the charges and investigation. When questioned, a group of high school students said the teacher was well liked. The superintendent had cautioned students about speaking on social media concerning the case. However, he added that students had been forbidden to to talk about it. “We encouraged faculty, if people want to talk about it, to make sure that we engaged with them and let them know that we as adults are also having a tough time with this. I will be sending out a message to all families, but the bottom line is this is a criminal investigation.”
Nguyen, who is married and separated, has been employed in the Oxford schools for some 12 years. His lawyer had asked that the bail be set at $500 because the gym teacher had turned himself in voluntarily.
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