Judge Finds Probable Cause for Sex Abuse Case

A DC Superior Court judge ruled that the case against a domestic violence defendant charged with fourth-degree sexual abuse has enough evidence to go to trial.

The defendant is accused of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. He is currently on pretrial release.

During the Nov. 10 preliminary hearing, a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detective testified that the victim contacted her saying she wanted to make a complaint against her romantic partner.

According to the detective, the complainant said the defendant told her he has had sex with her while she was asleep or unconscious, and the victim told him that was rape. The defendant allegedly told her it was not because she is his girlfriend.

The victim has a seizure disorder she manages with medication that makes her drowsy, the detective said. Defense attorney Thomas Healy asked the detective if it was possible the victim was partly conscious while on medication. The detective said she did not know.

The prosecution asked the detective about text messages cited in an affidavit she wrote. The detective identified one of the phone numbers as being the defendant’s. She said she found an explicit video, allegedly sent by the defendant via text, of a person she said did not seem responsive. The defendant’s face could allegedly be seen at the end of it and, according to the detective, the victim identified herself in it.

When Healy asked if there was a conversation between two people in the video, the detective said the video had no sound, but the victim told her she was unconscious in the video.

Judge Milton Lee ruled the case had probable cause, citing the victim identifying herself in the video. Judge Lee also noted that the victim being on a medication that made her unconscious indicates a lack of consent from her.