For­mer sol­dier con­victed of rap­ing woman at Grapevine ho­tel in 2017

Star-Telegram (Sunday) - - Local & Texas - BY KA­LEY JOHN­SON kjohn­[email protected]­gram.com

A for­mer sol­dier was found guilty by a Tar­rant County jury of rap­ing a woman in a Grapevine ho­tel room in 2017.

In May 2017, Steven Dean Pham, 34, was in DFW for a train­ing pro­gram. While in town, an­other sol­dier in the pro­gram be­came friends with a lo­cal woman, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the Tar­rant County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice. The woman was in­vited to join the group at a bar on the sol­diers’ last night in town.

Af­ter go­ing to the bar and a party, the woman stayed at a Grapevine ho­tel room with the sol­dier she had be­come friends with, ac­cord­ing to the DA’s of­fice. As the sol­dier was prepar­ing to leave the next morn­ing to catch a flight, Pham showed up at the door. The sol­dier es­corted Pham out with him as he left the room and urged Pham to go back to his own room.

In­stead, Pham went back to the woman’s room and told her he had left his room key inside. When she opened the door, he be­gan to slap and punch her. He stran­gled her into un­con­scious­ness. When she woke up, Pham was rap­ing her, the news re­lease said.

When Pham fin­ished as­sault­ing the woman, he took her phone, threat­en­ing to kill her if she re­sisted. He was recorded run­ning out of the room on the ho­tel’s se­cu­rity cam­era, the DA said.

Some­one called po­lice when they heard screams from the ho­tel room and when po­lice ar­rived, they ar­rested Pham in his own ho­tel room where he was get­ting ready to leave for a flight.

The woman’s phone was found in his carry-on bag.

Pham, who is from North Carolina, was sen­tenced to six years and six months in prison.

“We’re taught to avoid the ‘creepy peo­ple’ in dark al­leys, and to cross the street to avoid dan­ger­ous-look­ing men com­ing to­ward us. But you don’t see some­one like Steven Pham com­ing,” lead prose­cu­tor Sarah Sher­man said in the re­lease. “Pham used his oc­cu­pa­tion as a sol­dier to gain trust, and abused that trust by com­mit­ting a vi­o­lent sex­ual crime. There are no stereo­types when it comes to sex of­fend­ers.”

Pham was dis­hon­or­ably dis­charged from the army af­ter the as­sault.

Steven D. Pham

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