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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 12, 2016

District Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Assaulting Woman In 2002 Attack in Northwest Washington

DNA Later Tied Him to the Crime

            WASHINGTON – Jeremiah Juwley, 30, formerly of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to sexually assaulting a woman in 2002, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Juwley pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to attempted first-degree sexual abuse. The plea, which is subject to the Court’s approval, calls for a sentence of 16 years in prison. The Honorable José M. López scheduled sentencing for April 8, 2016. Upon his release from prison, Juwley  is to be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

            According to the government’s evidence, in the early morning hours of Sept. 14, 2002, the victim, then 22, was walking alone to a friend's home on the 1100 block of Columbia Road NW after leaving a nightclub. While in route, Juwley, a stranger to her, began walking behind her. To evade him, she walked to an outdoor stairwell that was somewhat secluded.

            Juwley continued to pursue her. When he caught up to her, he grabbed her around the waist. The victim screamed. Juwley told her to shut up and knocked her face down onto the ground. She continued to scream, turning her face towards the apartment building so someone could hear her. The defendant continued to strike her in the face and started banging her head on the ground, eventually knocking her unconscious. Juwley then attempted to sexually assault her.

            The victim reported the assault to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and was taken to Howard University Hospital, where she was treated for injuries and swabbed for DNA.  The case was cold until April 2014, when the defendant was identified as a suspect through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a web of state and national databases containing DNA profiles from convicted offenders and crime scenes that is used as an investigative tool. Juwley’s DNA was in the system as a result of a 2011 conviction in a carjacking case; he was sentenced to a seven-year prison term in that case. Juwley’s DNA profile matched the DNA left behind by the assailant in 2002. Juwley was arrested in December 2015.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of detectives from the MPD’s Sexual Assault Unit, the Third Police District, and officers from the Forensic Science Division.  He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Lezlie Richardson; Paralegal Specialists Jason Manuel, Tiffany Jones, and Tierra Naches, and Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Cook and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenya Davis and Nicholas Miranda, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
16-020
Updated February 12, 2016