New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty To Sexually Assaulting Colleague During Business Trip To The District Of Columbia-Defendant And Victim Were Here For A Trade Show-
WASHINGTON – William A. Sipper, 46, of Ramsey, N.J., pled guilty today to sexually assaulting an intoxicated business colleague while in the District of Columbia on a business trip, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.
Sipper pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to one count of misdemeanor sexual abuse in an Alford plea. Under such a plea, the defendant does not admit the allegations, but agrees that the government has enough evidence to secure a conviction. In this case, Sipper contended that he did not recall what had happened at the time of the offense, but conceded that the government had sufficient evidence with which to convict him. He is scheduled to be sentenced by the Honorable Russell F. Canan on Dec. 13, 2013.
According to the government’s factual proffer, as of Nov. 12, 2010, Sipper was the chief operating officer of a beverage company. That company had hired the victim to work as a model at a trade show that was taking place in the District of Columbia. Sipper, the victim and others from the company were in the area to attend that trade show, and some of them, including Sipper and the victim, were staying at a hotel in the 1200 block of K Street NW.
After a night of eating and drinking on the part of the defendant, the victim and some of the company’s other employees, Sipper asked the victim whether she wanted to work at two upcoming trade shows in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. When she said that she did, he asked her to come to his hotel room so that he could book her airline tickets for those events. She agreed, and sat on one of the beds in Sipper’s hotel room as he booked those tickets. That was the last thing the victim remembered until she awoke to find Sipper sexually assaulting her.
When the victim finally succeeded in getting the defendant off of her, she fled to her own hotel room on another floor and called her mother and boyfriend to report what had happened. They encouraged her to call 911, which she did.
As part of the victim’s medical examination, her blood alcohol content was determined to be quite high. Initially, Sipper denied that he had engaged in any sexual contact with the victim. However, DNA testing of semen found in the victim’s underwear showed that – at each pertinent location that could be tested – there was a match with the defendant’s DNA.
In announcing today’s plea, U.S. Attorney Machen acknowledged the work of officers from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit. He also thanked those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Jason Manuel and Victim/Witness Advocate Melissa Milam. Finally, he commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heide Herrmann, Lindsay Suttenberg and Peter V. Taylor, who prosecuted this case; and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon A. Sprague, who handled an interlocutory appeal in this case.