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Justice News

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

Friday, August 24, 2018

District Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison For Home Invasion in Northwest Washington

Defendant Sped Off in Family's Car

            WASHINGTON – James Rousseau, 23, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for burglarizing a house in Northwest Washington and then riding off in the family’s car, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu.

            Rousseau was found guilty in January 2018 of charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, and unauthorized use of an automobile. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Rousseau was sentenced by the Honorable Robert A. Salerno. Following his prison term, he will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, on the evening of Oct. 10, 2016, Rousseau was stalking the 5100 block of 7th Street NW, looking for a house to burglarize. After going up and down the block, he located an unlocked rear deck door. He entered this house, which was occupied only by a teenager and three small sleeping children. The teenager was getting ready for bed and showering in the basement bathroom. She heard footsteps upstairs, but mistakenly believed that it was the rest of the family returning to the house.

            Only later, when the teenager heard Rousseau peel off in the family’s MINI Cooper sedan, did she realize that a burglar had been inside. Officers with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) quickly responded to the scene and canvassed the neighborhood. An exterior fingerprint at the home helped lead to Rousseau’s identification. In addition, MPD was able to recover surveillance footage from security cameras belonging to neighbors on the block. The surveillance footage showed the same person, and the footage from the driveway showed that person driving off with the car.  Rousseau was arrested 10 days after the crime. Pursuant to a search warrant, law enforcement recovered a cellphone from Rousseau’s house that included a picture of the defendant wearing the same outfit shown in the surveillance footage.

            At the time of this offense, Rousseau was on probation for a prior burglary offense.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. She also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences. She acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Monica Trigoso, Stephen Rickard, Veronica Sanchez, and Denise Cheung; Paralegal Specialists Donice Adams and Crystal Waddy; Litigation Technology Specialist Anisha Bhatia, and Criminal Investigator John Marsh.

            Finally, she commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Sonali D. Patel, who secured the indictment in the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Louis Manzo, who investigated and prosecuted the case.


Press Release Number: 
Updated August 24, 2018