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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 28, 2022

District of Columbia Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing Minor

Pattern of Abuse Began When Girl Was 13

            WASHINGTON – Jerome J. Simmons, 35, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a 15-year prison term for sexually abusing an under-aged girl, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Simmons pleaded guilty in October 2021, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of first-degree child sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances. He was sentenced by the Honorable Marisa J. Demeo. Following completion of his prison term, Simmons will be placed on five years of supervised release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years following his release from prison.

            According to court documents, Simmons was in a romantic relationship with the victim’s mother. In December 2020, when the girl was 14, she told authorities that Simmons sexually abused her on multiple occasions in Southeast Washington when she was 13 and 14. A subsequent investigation determined that Simmons began grooming her for abuse when she was 13 by giving her a cellphone and texting her on it. After providing the cellphone, he asked her to send pictures of her body to him and then they had explicit video calls. This conduct, in turn, escalated to hands-on abuse.  In a search of the defendant’s cellphone, police discovered graphic photos and videos depicting the victim.

            Simmons was arrested on Dec. 26, 2020, soon after the girl made the disclosures. He has been detained ever since.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Feldman and Paralegal Specialist ReShawn Johnson. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth C. Kelley, who prosecuted the matter.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
22-19
Updated January 28, 2022