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Press Release

District Man Pleads Guilty to Two Sexual Assaults, Admits Attacking Woman and 11-Year-Old Girl

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
One Incident Was in 2012, Another in 2015

            WASHINGTON - Joseph Ramsey, 21, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to charges stemming from two sexual assaults, including an armed attack on a 25-year-old woman in September 2012 and another assault on an 11-year-old girl in March 2015, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu.   

            Ramsey pled guilty in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to charges of first-degree sexual abuse while armed and first-degree child sexual abuse.  The plea, which is contingent on the Court’s approval, calls for an agreed-upon prison term of 25 years.  Once released from prison, Ramsey will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. He also could be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life. The Honorable Judith Bartnoff scheduled sentencing for Jan. 26, 2018.

            According to the government’s evidence, the first attack took place on Sept. 6, 2012, at approximately 11:15 p.m.  The victim, 25, was walking home from the Deanwood Metro station.  Ramsey approached her as she turned onto 45th Place NE and as she walked into an alley leading to the rear of her home. He pulled out a black handgun as he ran towards her.  Ramsey then forced her onto her knees and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint.  The victim reported the assault immediately and was transported to Washington Hospital Center for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE), which included collection of forensic evidence.

            In the second assault, in the early evening of March 1, 2015 an 11-year-old girl encountered Ramsey in the 3300 block of Stanton Road SE. She and the defendant went into a nearby apartment building, and he sexually assaulted the child on the basement landing. She immediately reported the assault and was transported to Children’s National Medical Center for an examination, which included collection of forensic evidence.

            Forensic analysis of the evidence collected following the two assaults revealed that the same unknown male DNA profile was found on the biological material in both cases.  Detectives with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit and Youth Investigation Division developed the defendant as a suspect in these assaults and obtained a warrant to collect a DNA sample from him.  Forensic analysis revealed that Ramsey’s DNA profile matched the unknown male DNA profile found in the sex kits collected following both assaults. Ramsey was charged in this case in February 2016 and has been in custody ever since.

            In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu praised the work of officers from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit and Youth Investigation Division.  She expressed appreciation to Deputy U.S. Marshals William Straw and Justin Bankert, of the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as to Bode Cellmark Forensics. 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; Forensic Operation/Program Specialist Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie; Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling; Contract Specialist Sallie Rynas; David Foster, LaJune Thames, and Katina Adams-Washington, all of the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit; Paralegal Specialists D’Yvonne Key, Angelina Slagle, Tiffany Jones, Michelle Wicker, and Jason Manuel, and Victim/Witness Advocate Veronica Vaughan.

             Finally, U.S. Attorney Liu commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julianne Johnston, Sumit Mallick, and Jason Park, who investigated and prosecuted this case.

Updated November 7, 2017

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 17-247