Sex Abuse Defendant Receives New Attorney

A DC Superior Court judge appointed a new lawyer to represent a sex abuse defendant.

The defendant is charged with first-degree sexual abuse, assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual abuse, kidnapping, first-degree burglary and robbery.

During the Sept. 10 hearing, DC Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna appointed Thomas Healy to replace the defendant’s previous lawyers, Lisbeth Sapirstien and Charles Murdter.

The defendant is currently awaiting sentencing in another case, in which a jury convicted him of kidnapping and first-degree sexual abuse. Sapirstein and Murdter represented him during that trial. In a defense motion requesting the two’s withdraw from the defendant’s newer case, Sapristein stated that the defendant has renewed a request he made in March 2020 during his previous trial to receive new counsel.

After granting the request, Judge McKenna canceled a trial readiness hearing set for Jan. 18, 2022, and scheduled a status hearing for Oct. 26 instead. In the meantime, the defendant will remain held at DC Jail.