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Thursday, October 24, 2013

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District Man Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Four Women
In Series of Attacks Committed at Knifepoint
-Defendant Lured Victims Into His SUV, Then Raped Them-

     WASHINGTON - Barrington Bennett, 35, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury on Oct. 9, 2013 of sexually assaulting four victims at knifepoint between December 2011 and August 2012, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Bennett was found guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia jury of four counts of first-degree sexual abuse while armed with aggravating circumstances, four counts of kidnapping while armed, and three counts of armed robbery. The Honorable J. Ramsey Johnson scheduled sentencing for Jan. 10, 2014.

     According to the government=s evidence, Bennett lured the victims into his sport utility vehicle in attacks that took place on Dec. 16, 2011; Feb. 18, 2012; July 28, 2012, and Aug. 23, 2012.

     One victim joined Bennett after the offer of a ride home. The other victims were prostitutes who believed they would perform sex for money. Bennett had folded down the middle row of seats in the SUV and covered it with a blanket.  When victims got into the SUV, from various locations in Northeast and Northwest Washington, Bennett drove them to places in Northeast Washington. He pulled out a folding knife, held it to their throats, and raped them at knifepoint.

     Bennett also robbed three of the victims of cell phones and money. He cut the fourth victim on her jaw and head, and she wiped her blood on the blanket.  When she finally escaped the SUV, she saw the license plate and reported the tag number immediately. Detectives with the Metropolitan Police Department located the SUV within an hour, impounded it, and searched it after obtaining a warrant. 

     Inside the SUV, police discovered a folding knife that contained DNA consistent with the fourth victim and the defendant. Police also found a blanket that contained the fourth victim’s blood, along with the DNA of the defendant and the first victim. Finally, the second victim had received a sexual assault kit which contained Bennett’s DNA. 

     In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Machen commended detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department=s Sexual Assault Unit, the Fifth District, and the Forensic Science Division.  He also commended the work of the Consolidated Forensic Sciences Division.  He also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Lezlie Richardson; Paralegal Specialists Jason Manuel and Tiffany Jones, and Victim-Witness Specialists David Foster and Katina Adams-Washington.  He particularly commended the work of Claudia Gutierrez, Joe Calvarese, Leif Hickling and the entire Litigation Support Staff for their work on the case. Lastly, Mr. Machen thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Zubrensky, who investigated, indicted and tried the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jodi Lazarus, who co-tried the case, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Andrews, who also investigated the case.






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