Sexual Assault Cases Decrease By 5 Percent from 2021 to 2022

From 2021 to 2022, there was approximately a 5 percent decrease in the number of sexual assault cases adjudicated at the DC Superior Court between January and June.

During the first six months of 2022, the total included 21 incidents, which, even though lower than the number of cases adjudicated during the same time period in 2021, was still nearly half of the total amount of cases adjudicated in court last year.

The incidents reflected several different types of assaults, including assaults that happened in singular incidents, assaults that happened over multiple incidents with children and assaults that occurred with underage individuals.

In 2021 there were 22 single incidents, including one death, one underage relationship and three incidents that involved multiple sexual assault occurrences. 

There were five types of sexual assault cases adjudicated at the court in 2021 with single incidents being approximately 77% of all sexual assault cases, approximately 5 percent involved multiple incidents with separate victims, approximately 9 percent involved multiple incidents involving a relative, approximately 5 percent involved multiple incidents in which the assailant was in an underage relationship, and approximately 5 percent involved sexual abuse that resulted in death.

On Jan. 31, 2021, 30-year-old Brenea Franklin was found with lacerations on her neck and pronounced dead at 12:35 a.m. An autopsy report determined a knife was used and the defendant, James Lewis, was identified through surveillance footage and eyewitness statements. The defendant’s girlfriend called police on Feb. 23, 2021, to offer more information on the defendant, according to court documents. The 24-year-old defendant was indicted on 10 charges, including first-degree sexual abuse, assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping while armed, possession of a prohibited weapon, felony murder while armed, and felony contempt. 

Lewis is set for a status hearing on Aug. 29.

Another defendant, who was 59 years old at the time of the incident, forced his niece to have oral sex on the basement steps of her home on Jan. 12, 2021. Two days later the defendant forced her to perform oral sex again while she was watching television on Jan. 14, 2021. The older sister of the family reported the occurrence. 

Even though the victim could have been subjected to extensive childhood abuse, only two cases could be substantiated. 

On June 10, a status hearing resulted in the defendant remaining on no bond. The proceeding ended with a continuance because the defense attorney Ronald Resetartis needed more time to review the case. 

Another defendant, a 50-year-old god-uncle, was reported to have groped his 12-year-old and 14-year-old nieces between January 2021 to May 2021. 

The victims reported the assault to their parents and police were notified. 

On June 30, a felony status hearing was held for the defendant, in which he rejected a plea offer. Another hearing is scheduled in October to check the status of an indictment. 

D.C. Witness data also includes a sexual assault case that involved an underage relationship in 2021. The 35-years-old defendant is charged with sexual abuse after being in a relationship with a 13-year-old girl. 

The defendant is reported to have had a sexual relationship with the victim between Feb. 5, 2021, to Feb. 6, 2021. 

On Jan. 24, a plea offer was placed on record and the defense requested to continue the case to discuss the offer to the defendant. The defendant, who was on pretrial release, violated his probation on July 13. 

D.C. Witness data also shows that Frank Bordern Jr. pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree sex abuse and misdemeanor sex abuse for slapping multiple strangers on different areas of their bodies on Feb. 3 on the 1700 block of Q Street NW, 1600 block of Massachusetts Avenue NW, the intersection of 17th Street & P Street, and the 2400 block of 18th Street NW. The defendant is scheduled for a sentencing on Sept. 16.   

Another defendant, 23, was charged with sexually assaulting separate victims on May 1, 2021. 

According to court documents, one victim reported being driven to an alleyway and was threatened with a screwdriver and forced to perform oral sex on him. In an earlier incident on Sept. 3, 2011, the defendant held another victim at gunpoint and forced her into his car, which they drove to an alley way where the victim was forced to perform oral and vaginal sex. The defendant is charged with first-degree sex abuse.

On June 27, the defendant is reported to be in compliance with pretrial release conditions and a status hearing has been scheduled to keep courts updated on the progress of the case. A jury trial date is still pending. 

Sexual Assaults in 2021

There was a total of 43 sex abuse cases adjudicated at the D.C Superior Court for the entire year of 2021.

Among the 43 cases, there are approximately six different sex abuse incident types. Thirty-three cases were single incidents, three cases involved multiple incidents with separate victims, four cases were multiple incidents involving a relative, one case included multiple incidents in which the assailant was in an underage relationship, one case included multiple incidents between two adults who were in a relationship and one case involved sexual abuse that resulted in death.

Editor’s note: Given the nature of sex abuse incidence, the process of the events that occurred, to reporting the incident, to when the defendant is seen in the courts; the case year may differ from when the incident has occurred. A limitation is that some cases are closed to the public from the D.C superior court. Also, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), only 310 out of every 1000 sexual assaults are reported to police. Therefore, meaning 2 out of 3 sexual assaults go unreported (RAINN, 2021).