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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 12-Year Prison Term For Attacking Woman in Alley, Then Assaulting Police Neighbors Heard Woman’s Screams, Called 911

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia

            WASHINGTON - Kirk Cheeks, 45, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 12 years in prison for abducting and assaulting a woman in an alley and then firing a gun during a confrontation with police, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

            Cheeks pled guilty in December 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to charges of kidnapping and assault with a dangerous weapon. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a 12-year prison sentence. The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly accepted the plea and sentenced Cheeks accordingly. Upon completion of his prison term, Cheeks will be placed on five years of supervised release.

            A federal grand jury indicted Cheeks in June 2014 on federal and District of Columbia offenses. He pled guilty to two of the District of Columbia offenses. The defendant has prior convictions for drug, weapons, and felony assault offenses.

            According to the government’s evidence, Cheeks encountered the victim early Feb. 2, 2014, in the area of the 700 block of Girard Street NW. He invited her to walk to his home and drink alcohol, to which she agreed.  While walking through the alley behind the 700 block of Girard Street, he put her in a chokehold and dragged her to the rear of a building and down an incline next to the building.  Neighbors heard her cry for help and called 911.

            Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to the alley within minutes of the 911 calls.  When officers arrived, they saw Cheeks on top of the victim, and saw that he was holding his hand over the victim’s mouth, telling her to “shut up.”  An officer pulled Cheeks off the victim and directed him to walk up the incline to the alley, where other officers were waiting for him. Cheeks, however, resisted and began struggling with officers.  He pointed a gun at one of the officers, and during the struggle it discharged a round. After further struggling with officers, the defendant was eventually placed in handcuffs.

            The victim reported to detectives that Cheeks had smothered her, stuck a gun to her head, and raped her.  In his guilty plea, Cheeks denied sexually assaulting her.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the officers and detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District and Sexual Assault Unit, who investigated the case. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Criminal Investigator John Marsh; Victim/Witness Advocate Lezlie Richardson; Paralegal Specialist Jason Manuel, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvind K. Lal, who assisted with forfeiture issues.

            Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy H. Zubrensky and Cassidy Kesler Pinegar, who prosecuted the case.


Updated March 13, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-031