District Man Sentenced To 19-Year Prison Term For Sexually Assaulting Woman During Burglary Of Store-DNA Database Helped Link Defendant To The Crime-
WASHINGTON – Darius Smith, 21, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 19 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman during a burglary at a store in Northeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Smith pled guilty in October 2012, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to one count of first-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced by the Honorable Robert E. Morin. Following his prison term, Smith will be placed on five years of supervised release and he will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.
During the plea proceedings, Smith admitted that late in the evening on Oct. 8, 2010, he and three other people broke into a variety store in the 1300 block of Kenilworth Avenue NE. The victim, an employee who had just finished taking inventory, was still inside the closed store. The assailants demanded money and threatened the victim. After they had looted the store, all four left. Smith, however, returned within minutes and sexually assaulted the victim.
The victim was rushed to Washington Hospital Center, and a sexual assault examination was conducted. Swabs taken from the victim during the examination were sent to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Crime Laboratory for DNA testing. A male DNA profile found on the swabs was entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a web of state and national databases containing DNA profiles from convicted offenders and crime scenes that is used as an investigative tool. Smith was identified as a suspect through a CODIS search and DNA “cold hit.” His DNA profile had been loaded into the CODIS database following his 2010 conviction for attempted second-degree burglary, also committed in Northeast Washington.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen acknowledged the work of the MPD, especially the detective who led the investigation of the case. U.S. Attorney Machen also praised the efforts of those who worked on the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists D’Yvonne Key and Jason Manuel and Legal Assistant Tanisha Nelson. Finally, he commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heide L. Herrmann and Amy H. Zubrensky, who investigated and prosecuted the case.