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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Convicted Sex Offender Found Guilty of Charges in 2010 Armed Rape and Kidnapping

Victim Accosted While Returning Home, Forced into Neighbor’s Yard at Knifepoint and Raped There

            WASHINGTON –Cardell Torney, Jr., 47, formerly of Washington, D.C., has been found guilty by a jury of sexually attacking a woman, a stranger, in December 2010 in the front yard of a residence in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced today.

            Torney was found guilty of first-degree sexual abuse while armed, with aggravating circumstances, and kidnapping while armed. The verdict, on Sept. 4, 2018, followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  The Honorable Danya A. Dayson scheduled sentencing for Nov. 16. 2018. Torney, who remains held, could face a life prison term.

            According to the government’s evidence at trial, the victim met friends on U Street NW on the evening of Dec. 11, 2010 to listen to music and socialize at two U Street clubs.  Early Dec. 12, at the end of the night, the victim – who, at the time, was in her early 30s and worked at the U.S. State Department – walked back to her home in the 2200 block of 12th Street NW.  Evidence showed that it took about eight minutes to walk from the U Street club to her home.

            When she reached her house and was about to unlock her door, a stranger approached her from behind, stuck a sharp object in her back, told her that he was holding  a knife, and demanded money.  The victim told the attacker that she had no money, but offered him her credit cards and promised she would neither cancel them nor report them stolen.  Unsatisfied, the stranger – Torney – forced her at knifepoint into the neighbor’s front yard, forced her onto the cold, wet ground, pulled down her pants and underwear, and raped her anally.

           Following the rape, Torney ran away.  The victim had no idea who the rapist was.  She ran into her home and immediately called 911.  The police took the victim to Medstar Washington Hospital Center, where she submitted to a forensic exam by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.  Swabs that were taken from her body contained the attacker’s DNA and, in 2012, that DNA led the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to Torney. He was arrested in May 2012 and has been in custody ever since.

            About a month prior to this attack, Torney had been released from the District of Columbia Jail, where he was serving a sentence for misdemeanor sexual abuse of a child. That prior conviction constituted an aggravating circumstance that exposes Torney, in this case, to the possibility of a sentence of life in prison.  Although the prior sexual assault conviction required that Torney register as a sex offender, the present conviction will require that upon his release from jail he register quarterly for life.

            In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of the Sexual Assault Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department, and the District of Columbia Forensic Nurse Examiners. She also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation, Deputy Chief Sharon Donovan of the Homicide Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Zubrensky, and Forensic Operation/Program Specialist Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie, who assisted with DNA issues; Deputy Chiefs Chrisellen Kolb and Suzanne Curt of the Appellate Division, Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Smith; Paralegal Specialists Michelle Wicker and Brenda C. Williams; Victim/Witness Advocate Lezlie Richardson; Victim/Witness Service Coordinators Katina Adams-Washington and La June Thames; Litigation Technology Specialists Anisha Bhatia, Jeanie Latimore-Brown and Kimberly Smith; Intelligence Specialists William Hamann, Shannon Alexis and Sharon Johnson; and former Summer Interns Megan Hughes, Jill Rogowski, Lanie Miliotes and Leon Stern.

            Finally, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Cook and Assistant United States Attorneys Jodi Lazarus and Elana Suttenberg for the initial investigation of the case and Assistant United States Attorneys Kathleen A. “Katie” Kern and Peter V. Taylor, who investigated and tried this case. 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
18-237
Updated September 5, 2018