FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
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District Man Sentenced to 51-Month Prison Term
For Sexually Assaulting a Woman in 2008
- DNA Linked Defendant To Crime -
WASHINGTON - Christopher Herbert Grooms, 26, of Washington D.C., has been sentenced to 51 months of incarceration in connection with a sexual assault that took place in April 2008 in Southeast Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Grooms pled guilty in June 2012 to a charge of attempted first-degree sexual abuse. He was sentenced on Aug. 20, 2012, by the Honorable Ann O’Regan Keary in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Grooms is currently facing revocation of his supervised release on an unrelated charge, and the Court ordered that the 51-month sentence run consecutive to Grooms’s current incarceration. The Court also imposed an extended period of supervised release of six years to be served after Grooms is released from prison.
According to the government’s evidence, on April 5, 2008, Grooms sexually assaulted the victim, by using force and against her will, in her own home in Southeast Washington.
Grooms met the victim in March 2008 while she waited for a bus in the mornings. Grooms told the victim that his name was “Sean.” On the morning of April 4, 2008, the victim and Grooms made plans to meet at the victim’s apartment later that evening to get to know each other. At approximately 11 that night, Grooms arrived at the apartment with a bottle of vodka, cranberry juice and plastic cups. Grooms and the victim drank alcohol together while they watched television and talked.
After engaging in some consensual sexual contact, the victim grew uncomfortable with Grooms’s sexual advances and asked him to stop. After that, Grooms’s demeanor changed. At one point, he punched the victim in the mouth with a closed fist, causing her to fall to the floor in the hallway. The victim’s lip was swollen and bleeding, and she pleaded with Grooms not to hit her again. Grooms then sexually assaulted her, and, when he was finished, ordered her to fix him another drink.
After Grooms finally left the apartment, the victim called 911 to report the assault and was transported to Howard University Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries and a sexual assault examination was done.
In the weeks after the assault, the victim reported to the police that she had seen Grooms driving around and was able to record the license plate of the vehicle. In March 2011, detectives determined that the vehicle was registered to Grooms’s ex-girlfriend. In April 2011, the victim was shown a photo array that included a photo of Grooms and she positively identified him as the person who had assaulted her on April 5, 2008.
Simultaneously, the victim’s sexual assault kit was sent to the DNA lab for analysis, which confirmed there was a major male DNA contributor in the sperm fraction on swabs taken from the victim. On May 6, 2011, a little over three years after the assault, members of the Metropolitan Police Department received another investigative lead that led them to Grooms as the man who had raped the victim on April 5, 2008.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen praised the outstanding work of those who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the medical professionals of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program for the specialized forensic evidence collection and for providing excellent medical treatment and critical services to the victim. He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Joyce Arthur, the Intelligence Unit, and members of the Victim Witness Unit, including Victim Advocate Tracey Hawkins. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin B. Andrews, who investigated and prosecuted this case.