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Press Release

District Man Found Guilty of Kidnapping and Raping His Wife

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victim Severely Beaten While Being Held Captive in U-Haul Storage Locker

            WASHINGTON – A 49-year-old man, of Washington, D.C., was found guilty by a jury today of various felony charges for severely beating his wife while holding her captive in a small U-Haul storage unit, and for raping her two days later in a motel room, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.


            The defendant, who is not identified here to protect the privacy of the victim, was found guilty of kidnapping while armed, assault with a dangerous weapon, first-degree sexual abuse, and assault. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The defendant is to be sentenced on Sept. 8, 2017, by the Honorable Milton C. Lee. Under the District of Columbia’s voluntary sentencing guidelines, he faces a minimum of 24 years in prison. Upon his release from prison, he must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.


            According to the government’s evidence, the defendant and his wife – both homeless – spent the night of Jan. 12, 2017 in a small storage locker that she was renting at a facility in the 2200 block of Fifth Street NE. Once the facility closed, the defendant began accusing her of cheating on him. He took what the victim described as a wooden pole, with metal on each end, and brutally beat her with it. He kept her locked in the unit the rest of the night and, when she needed to use the restroom, he ordered her not to let anyone see her injuries and he accompanied her to the restroom and back.


            The next evening, the defendant called his father, who agreed to pay for a hotel room for the defendant and the victim. At the defendant’s order, the victim hid her face from her father-in-law as they got into his car in the dark. On Sunday, Jan. 15, after a day of relative peace, the defendant again became enraged and raped his wife at the hotel, which is in the 1600 block of New York Avenue NE. He then hit her in the head with the TV remote until he broke it. When the defendant went to the hotel’s front office to replace the remote, the victim escaped from the hotel room wearing nothing but panties, shoes and a winter coat. As she fled, she sought help from people she encountered, but no one would help her.


            Finally, she arrived on foot at the Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) Fifth District Station, where she received help from officers there. Veteran police officers, one of whom had patrolled the streets for over two decades, were shocked at the degree of the victim’s injuries: her eyes were extremely bloodshot and swollen almost shut, her nose was broken, and her body was badly bruised.


            Later that night, the defendant was arrested in the same hotel room in which he had raped his wife earlier in the day.


            In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Phillips praised the work of officers from MPD’s Fifth District and from MPD’s Sexual Assault Unit, as well as the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and other medical personnel at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. He also expressed appreciation to the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences, which performed DNA analysis of evidence recovered in the case, and to Nicole Stahlmann, Clinical Manager of the District of Columbia Forensic Nurse Examiners.


            He 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; Assistant U.S. Attorney Chrisellen Kolb, Deputy Chief of the Appellate Division; Paralegal Specialists Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie, Brenda C. Williams and Donhue Troy Griffith; Victim/Witness Advocates Juanita Harris and Tracey Hawkins; Litigation Technology Specialist Claudia Gutierrez, and Interns Kate Sullivan, Layla Kousari and Jonah Panikar. Finally, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa S. West and Peter V. Taylor, who investigated and prosecuted this case.

Updated June 16, 2017

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 17-128