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Friday, May 11, 2012

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District Man Found Guilty of Charges
In 2003 Sexual Assault
- DNA Tied Him to the Crime in 2011 -

     WASHINGTON - Shepardson Ray Blair, 48, of Washington, D.C., has been found guilty by a jury of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman in Northeast Washington in 2003, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.

      Blair was found guilty on May 9, 2012, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of charges of first-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, and assault with significant injury. The Honorable Ronna L. Beck scheduled sentencing for July 20, 2012.

      According to the government’s evidence, the victim, then 27, was walking home from Union Station at about 10 p.m. on July 14, 2003. At the time, she was a law student completing a summer internship at a non-profit in Washington D.C. She was less than two blocks from home, in the 800 block of Second Street NE, when Blair accosted her on the sidewalk, grabbed her by the neck, and choked her. Blair dragged the victim into the bushes, slammed her face into the ground, and sexually assaulted her. When the assault was over, he fled.

      The victim immediately reported the assault to police and was taken by ambulance to George Washington University Hospital, where she was treated for injuries and swabbed for DNA. The case was cold until 2011, when a DNA hit identified Blair as a suspect. MPD detectives obtained a search warrant from the Superior Court for the District of Columbia to collect a sample of the defendant’s DNA for comparison. When Blair’s DNA was analyzed, it matched the DNA left behind by the assailant in 2003.

      In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen commended detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit, First District patrol officers, and officers from the Forensic Science Division. He also acknowledged the efforts of Victim/Witness Advocate Tracey Hawkins; Paralegals Jason Manuel, Joyce Arthur, and Cynthia Muhammad; Elizabeth Fischer of the Finance office; Intelligence Specialists Sharon Johnson and William Hamann; Victim-Witness Specialists David Foster and Katina Adams-Washington, and Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling and the entire Litigation Support Staff. Lastly, Mr. Machen thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassidy Kesler Pinegar, who investigated and indicted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Zubrensky, who tried the case.





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