FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 18, 2013
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Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting 10-Year-Old Child
In September 2012 Attack on a Bus
-Defendant Assaulted a Police Officer in Unrelated Incident on the Same Day-
WASHINGTON – Donato Richardson, 34, of Roanoke, Va., has pled guilty to physically and sexually assaulting a child on a Greyhound bus and to assaulting a police officer in an unrelated incident on the same day, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Richardson pled guilty on Jan. 14, 2013 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to one count each of attempted second-degree child sexual abuse, attempted second-degree cruelty to children, and assault on a police officer. He is to be sentenced by the Honorable Russell F. Canan on March 20, 2013. Richardson faces up to five years in prison for attempted second-degree sexual abuse and up to 180 days of incarceration for each of the other charges. Following his prison term, Richardson will be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
At the plea hearing, Richardson admitted that on Sept. 19, 2012, he boarded a Greyhound bus at the Washington D.C. terminal in Northeast Washington. The bus was en route to Richmond, Va. The victim, a 10-year-old boy, was already on the bus and sitting by himself in a window seat behind the bus driver. The child’s mother was sitting two rows behind him on the other side of the aisle. The bus left the terminal about 2 a.m., and shortly afterward Richardson leaned over the boy and asked who was watching him. Richardson then unzipped the child’s pants and sexually assaulted him. The boy pushed Richardson’s hand away and told him to stop. Richardson then grabbed the boy's sweatshirt collar and neck. The boy attempted to resist and waved his hands to attract attention.
Other passengers and the bus driver noticed the commotion. The bus driver began to slow down and pull to the shoulder of the road on the 14th Street Bridge. Richardson then opened the emergency exit window, jumped out, and ran away from the bus as the startled passengers and bus driver watched. The bus driver called 911. Law enforcement officers, including Arlington County, Va., Police and the U.S. Park Police, responded and canvassed for the suspect based on the description provided by the witnesses, but were unable to locate him.
The defendant’s identity was developed by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) through the subsequent investigation, and an arrest warrant was issued for Richardson.
In an unrelated incident, at about 5:20 p.m. on Sept. 19, Richardson was observed in the area between 9th and 10th Streets and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, in front of the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, making lunging and swiping motions at pedestrians and pulling on doors of vehicles in the street. Security officers for the Department of Justice were notified and approached Richardson to investigate this behavior.
When approached by the security officers, Richardson ran, jumped on the roof of a vehicle on Pennsylvania Avenue, and landed on the other side. Richardson was ultimately stopped by security officers in the area of 11th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. When the officers attempted to restrain him, Richardson assaulted the officers, including a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal. Richardson was placed under arrest for this assault.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen acknowledged the work of the MPD’s Youth Investigations Division and the other agencies that investigated the case. He also praised the work of Victim-Witness Advocate Lezlie Richardson, Victim-Witness Specialist Katina Adams-Washington, William Hamann of the Criminal Investigations Unit, Paralegal Specialist Jason Manuel and Legal Assistant Tanisha Nelson. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen commended Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy H. Zubrensky, who investigated and prosecuted the case.13-018