Judge Set to Close Sex Assault Case in 2 Weeks

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At an Aug. 8 hearing, DC Superior Court Judge Rainey Brandt accepted the prosecution’s request to delay a probation violation ruling by two weeks.

Todd Anderson, 27, pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2020, to charges of assault with significant bodily injury and misdemeanor sex abuse for sexually assaulting and punching a dog walker in the face when she tried to escape on the 1400 block of Longfellow Street, NW on Aug. 22, 2019. 

Under the Youth Rehabilitation Act, a DC law that allows the court to impose more lenient sentences on offenders under the age of 25, DC Superior Court Judge Danya Dayson sentenced Anderson to two years of probation on Dec. 30, 2020.  

Anderson violated this probation when he was convicted of a crime in Essex County, N.J. on Dec. 3, 2021. He was arrested for the offense in April 2021 and remained detained for the matter until December of that year. He has yet to be sentenced despite a scheduled sentencing last June. 

Anderson was released for approximately three months before he was arrested for an additional incident that occurred in Hudson County, N.J. in March. He is currently incarcerated in Hudson County, and he appeared in court virtually.

Judge Brandt emphasized that the discussions around probation violation should be solely focused on the Essex County matter because the Hudson County case is currently pending trial.

“Mr. Anderson was in violation of his probation long before Hudson Country rolled into the scene,” she said. 

The prosecution asked Judge Brandt to revoke Anderson’s probation, stressing the severity of Anderson’s sentence in the outstanding New Jersey case.

Defense attorney Aubrey Dillon argued to dismiss the probation violation, referring to “significant pretrial punishment and detainment” and “a number of systemic failures” that contributed to Anderson’s recidivism. 

“This is a treatment issue,” he said. 

Diillon said Judge Dayson released Anderson into a partial hospitalization program that offered mental health treatment at Rutgers. However, Anderson was discharged to an out-patient program that “was not able to meet his needs” at the height of the pandemic.

Anderson was forced to go off of his medication when he encountered issues with his health insurance, counsel explained.

Dillon stressed that if Judge Brandt revoked Anderson’s probation, he would be sent to DC and lose eligibility for a treatment program called Integrity House at the Hudson County Jail. The program provides support services for participants while they are incarcerated and after they are released.

Anderson is currently on a waitlist for the program. 

“The program has the ability to do re-entry the way re-entry is supposed to be done,” Dillon said. 

The prosecution asked Judge Brandt for two more weeks to further investigate the Integrity House program and to await any updates from a scheduled court appearance for the Hudson County matter on Aug. 23.

Dillon indicated that Anderson could accept a plea deal and be sentenced at the Aug. 23 Hudson County hearing.

Judge Brandt granted the prosecution’s request for additional time but emphasized the urgency with which she wants to close the case. 

“New Jersey is going to do whatever New Jersey is going to do,” Judge Brandt said. “It’s time for DC to make a decision.”

“I like to be in control of my own cases and right now I feel the state of New Jersey is driving where this case goes,” she added. “If they’re in the driver’s seat, what do you need me for?”

Judge Brandt scheduled the parties to return to court on Aug. 25 to close the case.

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