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Monday, April 16, 2012

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Former Church Deacon Sentenced to Eight-Year Prison Term
For Sexually Abusing a Prostitute at Gunpoint
- At Time of Attack, Defendant Was Candidate to Become a Police Officer -

     WASHINGTON - Colin L. Hatch, 27, of Capitol Heights, Md., has been sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a prostitute at gunpoint in 2007, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today. At the time of the offense, Hatch was a deacon in his church and an applicant to become a police officer in Baltimore.

      Hatch was found guilty by a jury in July 2008, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of first-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, carrying a pistol without a license, and possession of an unregistered firearm. Part of that verdict was set aside on appeal, however, following a challenge of the trial court’s instructions of law that had been given to the jury.

      In March 2012, Hatch pled guilty to one count of attempted first-degree sexual abuse and one count of possessing a firearm during the commission of the crime of violence.

      Hatch, who has been in custody since his arrest in 2007, was sentenced April 13, 2012, by the Honorable Robert E. Morin. Judge Morin did not preside at the earlier trial.

     According to the government’s evidence at trial, as well as in its factual proffer at Hatch’s plea hearing, on November 17, 2007, at about 3:30 a.m., Hatch picked up a 23-year-old prostitute in downtown Washington, near 10th and K Streets NW. Hatch agreed to pay for sex, and the two drove to a residential area near 10th and O Streets NW, where they parked. Before engaging in the sexual act, the victim asked for payment. Instead, Hatch produced a .45 caliber handgun, pointed it to her head, and told her that the sex would be free. Scared for her life, the victim submitted to sexual acts in the hope that Hatch would let her go after he was finished.

     After the attack, Hatch allowed the victim to leave the car. He then drove back to the area where he had picked up the victim. Approximately 15 minutes after the assault, the victim and a friend spotted the defendant driving in the area. The victim called the police. Hatch was eventually stopped in the 400 block of Eastern Avenue NE, just a few blocks from his home. The .45 caliber handgun, which he had lawfully purchased in Maryland, was found in his car. The evidence at trial also demonstrated that, although Hatch wore a condom during the sexual assault, DNA recovered from the victim matched his DNA profile.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the work of those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department, including Detectives Ingrid Harkins and Thomas Sepulveda; ,Sgt. Seth Anderson; Officers Travis Maguire, Kief Green, Michael Tucker, Dale Vernick, and Thomas Caddell; Evidence Technicians Keith Slaughter and James Savage, and now-retired Detectives Wallace Carmichael and Mark Gilkey. In addition, U.S. Attorney Machen acknowledged the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim Advocate Maria Shumar; Victim Services Coordinator Katina Adams; Paralegal Specialists Joyce Arthur and Cynthia Muhammad; Legal Assistant Donice Adams, and the entire Litigation Technology Support Unit.

     Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorney John Einstman, who conducted the initial investigation and secured the indictment in the case; Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Rubenstein and former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Hawk, who prosecuted the case at trial, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter V. Taylor, who handled the case after the ruling from the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.





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