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Justice News

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

District Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Assaulting 17-Year-Old Victim In Broad Daylight Attack in Northeast Washington

Defendant Earlier Pled Guilty to Charges in Several Other Attacks

            WASHINGTON - Gerald Canty, 24, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to sexually assaulting a 17-year-old woman in a mid-morning attack that took place in December 2013 in Northeast Washington, Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen, Jr. announced.

            Canty pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to one count of attempted first-degree sexual abuse. The plea, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for a 10-year prison sentence to be served consecutively to a 21-year prison term Canty already is serving. The Honorable Lynn Leibovitz scheduled sentencing for June 19, 2015.

            Canty earlier pled guilty in May 2014 to sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman and attempting to kidnap three additional young women in a series of other incidents that took place between February and March of 2014, near the Minnesota Avenue Metro Station. In those matters, he pled guilty to one count of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of attempted kidnapping while armed, and two counts of attempted kidnapping. He was sentenced in July 2014 by the Honorable Jennifer Anderson to 21 years in prison, and lifetime sex offender registration. Following his prison term, Judge Anderson ordered that Canty be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life.

            Today’s plea involved an attack that took place on Dec. 17, 2013. According to the government's evidence, at approximately 9:20 a.m. that day, the 17-year-old victim was walking alone in the 4600 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE. Canty approached her, brandished an object that she believed was a gun, and said, “Hey! Don’t move.” He demanded the victim’s property, reached his hand into her pocket and removed $3. Canty then told the victim to follow him, and walked her under a footbridge a short distance away. Under the footbridge, Canty demanded that the young woman perform a sexual act on him. She initially refused, but ultimately submitted to the defendant’s demand.

            After the assault, the victim made an immediate report to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Officers and detectives with MPD’s Sixth District, Youth Investigations Division, and Mobile Crime Division, responded immediately. The victim was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where she received a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination. DNA later linked Canty to the attack.

            In announcing the plea, Acting U.S. Attorney Cohen commended the work of the Metropolitan Police Department, including officers and detectives from the Youth Division and the Sixth District, as well as mobile crime scene officers and technicians. He also expressed appreciation for the work of MPD’s Sexual Assault Unit, which investigated the crimes that led to Canty’s earlier plea. He acknowledged the work of the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. Finally, he praised the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Jason Manuel and Erica Vample; Victim/Witness Advocate Tracey Hawkins, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy H. Zubrensky, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
Updated April 22, 2015