BAY CITY, MI — A Bay County jury has acquitted a former nail salon owner of molesting a 14-year-old customer.
The jury on Thursday, April 17, found Thuan Q. Tran, 37, not guilty of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person between the ages of 13 and 16, a two-year high court misdemeanor. Tran’s trial before Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill began the previous day.
The alleged victim testified Wednesday that her mother on the afternoon of June 7, 2011, dropped her off at Yen’s Nails, 805 N. Euclid Ave. in Bangor Township, to get a manicure and pedicure for a school dance. The teen said Tran, the salon’s owner, gave her a manicure before massaging her hands and arms and, eventually, putting his hands under her shirt to feel her breasts.
The teen said Tran also touched her genital region on the outside of her jeans.
The teen said she was too frightened to flee or resist, and paid Tran for the services. That day, she told her mother and sister of the alleged molestation. Her mom called police the following day.
Questioned by defense attorney Laurence H. Margolis, the teen said she was unable to remember many of the specific details of the incident.
Margolis maintained throughout the trial that the girl made up the claims as part of an adolescent fantasy.
Tran in August 2012 pleaded guilty to a count of assault with a dangerous weapon in exchange for the dismissal of the criminal sexual conduct charge. In making the plea, Tran said he touched the teen’s breasts, thinking she was receptive to it but not knowing she was too young to give legal consent to such activity.
In October 2012, Gill allowed Tran to withdraw his plea after defense counsel filed a motion saying he didn’t properly understand his rights when pleading guilty.
Tran’s current address is listed as being in Kentwood. Yen’s Nails is no longer operated by Tran.