Judge Denies Release of Child Sex Abuse Defendant, Citing Strength of Evidence

A DC Superior Court judge denied a request to release a child sex abuse defendant, citing the strength of the evidence against him. 

The defendant is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl. The victim, equipped with a recording of an incident on her Discord account, fled her home to escape him and got in touch with law enforcement, according to court documents. The defendant was arrested within the day and has been held at DC Jail ever since. He is charged with first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree child sexual abuse.

Defense attorney Anthony Matthews requested his client’s release during a Feb. 7 hearing, pointing out his lack of a violent criminal record.  He argued that cases like this are routine and tend to have the same outcome.  He went on to assert that the defendant is not attracted to children because, if he had been, “why would he have waited until he was 60.”

“First-degree sexual abuse on a child with video evidence is hardly routine,” Judge Robert Okun responded.

The prosecutor objected to the release request, arguing that the nature of this case indicates the defendant’s danger to society. Judge Okun ultimately sided with the prosecution and chose to keep the defendant in jail. He also made it clear that due to the circumstances, the defendant may be charged with additional counts.

Matthews waived the defendant’s right to a preliminary hearing, which would have determined if the case has enough evidence to go to trial.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 17. Parties are expected to discuss a possible plea deal at that time.