Upcoming Sexual Assault Trial Delayed

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DC Superior Court Judge Milton Lee vacated a sexual assault defendant’s trial dates during an Oct. 3 status hearing.

The defendant, 53, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse for allegedly forcing himself on a woman in her apartment located on the 1000 block of North Capitol Street, NE on March 11, 2021.

According to a representative from the prosecution’s office, the case’s prosecutor is dealing with health problems that were not disclosed in open court. Due to the prosecutor’s unavailability, the prosecution moved to vacate the case’s Oct. 17 trial date. Judge Lee agreed.

The victim is currently being in the hospital and will not being able to appear in court for testimony.

“That has its own set of practical difficulties,” Judge Lee noted. “But it’s not an impossibility.”

With regards to the prosecutor’s health issues, defense attorney Wole Falodun expressed his sympathy and wished the prosecutor a speedy recovery. 

But if the trial is to be delayed, Falodun said, the defendant should be considered for release.

It was supposed to be a “100-day case,” he said, and it has been more than a year and a half that the defendant has been held at the DC Jail. 

He proposed a GPS monitor, with orders to stay away from the victim and whatever hospital that is treating her.

The prosecutors opposed the motion for release, saying the defendant still posed a danger to the community. However, as one of the prosecutors noted, “we never intend to hold [the defendant] just to hold him,” and that if the trial is further delayed, release may be in the cards.

Falodun said that if the defendant were to be released, he would likely need to stay in shelters because he lost his apartment when he was charged.

He has a friend that may be able to help him with money and a place to shower, Falodun said, but the High Intensity Supervision Program (HISP) would not be ideal for the defendant’s situation.

“There is a point where I have to look at some other options for [the defendant],” Judge Lee said, informing the Falodun that there would need to be more tangible living arrangements than a plan to stay in shelters. 

He asked Falodun to direct the defendant’s friend to the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA), so the agency can determine the feasibility of release.

According to court documents, the complainant called the Metropolitan Police Department from the lobby of her apartment building, telling officers the defendant confronted her in her hallway with a knife and forced her to let him into her apartment. 

He hit her several times on her head, chest and back, and raped her, according to the documents.

The victim said she was able to escape when the defendant allowed her to use the restroom, running down the stairs to call the police.

When officers arrived, they escorted her back up to her apartment, where the defendant was located. He opened the door for officers and was arrested. The complainant confirmed to officers that he was the man who had raped her.

The parties are scheduled to return to court on Oct. 18 for a status hearing. According to the DC Court website, a jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 19.

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