Margolis Cross-Examines His Way to Jury Trial Victory in Bay County
by Larry Margolis on March 22, 2014
BAY CITY, MI — As the man she accused looked on, a Bay County teen testified a former nail salon owner molested her when she was 14, though she remained fuzzy on some of the finer details.
Testifying in the trial of Thuan Q. Tran on Wednesday, April 17, the teen said that on the afternoon of June 7, 2011, her mother dropped her off at Yen’s Nails, 805 N. Euclid Ave. in Bangor Township. Speaking in a hushed tone in Bay County Circuit Judge Harry P. Gill’s courtroom, the teen said that she visited the salon for a manicure and pedicure before attending a school dance later that evening.
The teen said Tran filed her fingernails before giving her a massage.
“He massaged my upper arms for a while and then started to reach down inside my shirt,” she said. “He just started massaging (my breasts).”
The teen said she felt uncomfortable and nauseous. Tran also touched her genital region above her jeans, she said.
After the touching ended, Tran painted her nails, with not a word exchanged between them about what had happened, she testified.
Bay County Assistant Prosecutor Jordan E. Case asked the teen why she didn’t flee or resist Tran.
“I was too frightened,” she said. “I was scared I might get attacked.”
The teen paid for the services and left when her sister arrived to pick her up. Her sister laughed when she told her what happened, she said.
“I told her I was completely serious,” she said. At home, the teen repeated the allegations to her mother. The mother did not call police until the following day, after her daughter attended her school dance.
“It was a really big night for me and I was just thinking I didn’t want to miss it,” she testified.
Cross-examined by defense attorney Laurence H. Margolis, the teen said she is always truthful. Margolis said her Facebook account lists her age as 23 and states she studied at a school of wizardry and witchcraft, claims the girl said are not true. When asked by Margolis if she can speak several languages, as she claims on Facebook, the teen said she can speak a couple of words of the foreign tongues.
Margolis also pointed out that in her initial statement to police, the teen claimed Tran offered her $25 per hour to work as a model in a massage class. The teen testified Wednesday that she didn’t recall if Tran made that offer to her.
Asked by Margolis if she could have fallen asleep during the massage, the teen said it was possible.
“Is it possible this was a dream?” Case asked when permitted to question her again.
“No,” she replied.
Yen’s Nails is no longer owner or operated by Tran.
Tran, 37, is charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charge is a high-court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. Tran is free on bond.