Judge Grants, in Part, Attorney’s Motion to Withdraw from Sex Abuse Case

A DC Superior Court judge granted, in part, a defense attorney’s motion to withdraw from a sex abuse case.

The defendant is indicted on 29 counts including first-degree sex abuse, assault with intent to commit first-degree sex abuse, attempted first-degree sex abuse and third-degree sex abuse. He is also charged with first-degree child sex abuse in a domestic violence case. 

At the defendant’s request, defense attorney Kristin McGough motioned to withdraw as counsel in May.

During the July 22 hearing, the prosecution said that, in his last felony case, the defendant switched counsel five times. The prosecutor did not oppose the request for new counsel, but asked Judge Danya Dayson to make “appropriate inquiries.”

Judge Dayson then spoke privately with the defense. Afterward, she said she did not find McGough’s performance deficient, but said there were communication issues, though she did not find the breakdown between McGough and the defendant irretrievable. The judge told the defendant that switching counsel may cause a delay if she cannot find someone who is available next year. She said she may “revisit the issue” if she cannot find another lawyer for him.

The defendant is also charged with first-degree burglary, simple assault, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to commit armed robbery, threat to injure or kidnap a person, obstruction and assault with significant bodily injury in this case. He is currently serving more than two decades in prison after a jury convicted him of armed kidnapping, first-degree burglary while armed, third-degree sex abuse while armed, attempted armed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault with significant bodily injury while armed in 2015.