Charges added in sexual assault case; man allegedly impersonated doctor
MIDDLEBURY — A 31-year-old Houston, Texas, man on Tuesday pleaded innocent in Addison County Superior Court, criminal division, to eight newly filed charges of voyeurism, illegal practice of medicine and possession of child pornography in connection with a case in which he is accused — among other things — of posing as a medical official in an effort to convince a Middlebury College student to submit to a pelvic exam.
The defendant, Nam Vu Bui, had already been charged with sexual assault and voyeurism back on Oct. 19, after Middlebury police alleged that he had induced a female college student to submit to a faux medical exam after claiming that he was conducting medical research.
Police on Tuesday broadened their case against Bui to include eight additional charges, for a total of 10. Addison County Superior Court Judge John W. Valente ordered that Bui continue to be held without bail at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility, that he have no contact with a half-dozen women listed as witnesses in the case, and that his access to a computer and the Internet be limited in prison to legal research in his defense.
County prosecutors and Bui’s lawyer, Lisa B. Shelkrot, had been scheduled to consider the weight of evidence against Bui at the Addison County Courthouse on Tuesday. But prosecutors agreed to defer that hearing until next Tuesday in light of approximately 10 hours of new audio and video evidence the Addison County State’s Attorney introduced into court.
In all, Bui faces four misdemeanor charges of voyeurism; one felony charge of sexual assault without consent; three misdemeanor charges of practice or illegal advertising of medicine; and two misdemeanor charges of possession of child pornography.
And Addison County Deputy State’s Attorney Dennis W. Wygmans confirmed he’s been in contact with authorities in Texas and Washington, D.C., to determine whether Bui might have engaged in any criminal activity in those jurisdictions.
“It’s rare that we have someone alleged to have been posing as a medical professional, or otherwise, in order to commit the types of acts alleged in these cases,” Wygmans said during a brief interview following Tuesday’s court proceeding.
Middlebury Police Det. Kris Bowdish’s investigation revealed that Bui was dating a Middlebury College student who believed he was a radiation oncologist and a fellow at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, according to court documents. The young woman said she had known Bui for around four years, and that he had emerged as a “tutor” figure in her life when she had had difficulties in high school in Texas, according to court records.
The woman told Bowdish she believed Bui worked at the hospital Monday through Friday, with some weekend duty.
The girl reported that she and Bui joined a group of peers in going out to Burlington on Oct. 17, according to police records. On the way back to Middlebury, Bui allegedly talked to the young women about medical research he had allegedly been doing on a “preventative test for HPV,” according to Bowdish’s affidavit.
“He was looking for participants who did not have a Gardisil shot, which is the HPV vaccine,” the affidavit reads.
He allegedly promised a payment of $500 to $1,000 to women who would submit themselves to a test, which involved swabbing the subject’s private area to collect mucus for lab analysis, according to court records.
“The interview sounded very valid,” a Middlebury College female victim told Bowdish.
That victim alleged that Bui gave three options for collecting the sample — through Dartmouth-Hitchcock, to do it herself, or allow Bui to do it.
“Nam explained that he would be blindfolded during the procedure and I asked him how that would work,” the victim told Bowdish. “He said he had a lot of practice with dummies at the hospital and he could easily do it blindfolded.”
The young woman agreed to have Bui collect the sample and he suggested it be done that evening in her dorm room, according to court records.
That’s when the victim started to feel uneasy, according to court records.
“Nam started to get his material out of his bag and it did not look legit,” the victim told Bowdish, according to the affidavit.
“He pulled out a yellowing tube in a wrinkly package and a white bottle of cream.”
Bui not only took a blindfold for himself, but also told the victim to put one on, according to court records.
“He was blindfolded because he was not allowed to see anything,” the victim told Bowdish. “I had to be blindfolded because of some sort of radiation and also because I was not allowed to see the product.”
As the “examination” proceeded, the victim said she felt “really uncomfortable, I was scared and shaking, my heart was racing,” the affidavit states.
The victim told Bowdish she eventually peeked out from her blindfold and saw that Bui was not wearing his blindfold and “he did not have any pants on,” according to court records. She added she observed his cell phone was pointed at her private area, according to the affidavit.
“I told him I was uncomfortable with the procedure and that I wanted to stop,” the victim told Bui, according to court records.
Once the victim had taken off her blindfold, she said she saw a condom — still in its wrapper — sitting on a nearby chair, according to court records. The victim demanded that Bui delete the videos he had allegedly taken of her private area with his cell phone, according to Bowdish’s affidavit.
“I feel very violated by this event, he took advantage of me and my trust,” the victim told Bowdish.
Prosecutors allege, based on police investigations, that Bui extended the same “medical examination” offer to two other college students, but they declined, according to court documents.
Bowdish, in her investigatory affidavit, also alleged that Bui “knowingly possessed” two photos depicting the genitalia of a young girl. Bui told police that the images were part of his own investigation into a blackmail case involving his former girlfriend’s younger sister, according to court records.
Bowdish, through her affidavit, also alleged that Bui engaged in voyeurism by knowingly videotaping a young woman giving him oral sex — without her knowledge and permission — while on Middlebury College campus on Sept. 24.
Middlebury police said they confirmed that Bui is not a registered physician in Vermont, nor an employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Bowdish said she interviewed Bui on Oct. 18. He allegedly told her that he had been sleeping in his car parked in various campus lots, or in his (now former) girlfriend’s dorm room, according to court records. He maintained his research was through DHMC for cervical cancer early detection, according to court records.
Middlebury College officials issued a statement following Bui’s arrest. Following a preliminary investigation by college public safety and the Middlebury Police Department, Middlebury College sent an all-campus email on the morning of October 18, 2016, alerting faculty, staff, and students of the incident.
“Middlebury College takes these charges very seriously and we are cooperating with the Middlebury Police Department,” the statement reads. “We are conducting our own investigation into the circumstances of Nam Vu Bui’s presence on campus. Our priority is ensuring the safety of our campus, and providing resources and support for members of our community.”
Wygmans said the case also serves as a cautionary tale.
“It’s always good to check on someone’s credentials before you agree to do anything with them,” Wygmans said. “Make sure they are who they say they are.”