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Press Release

District Man Sentenced to 14 Months in Prison for Assaulting Woman at Southeast Washington Lounge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Victim Was Struck Multiple Times in The Head with Barstool

            WASHINGTON – Donnell Peterson, 46, of Washington, D.C., has been sentenced to a 14-month prison term for assaulting a woman last summer at a lounge in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Peterson pleaded guilty in September 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to assault with significant bodily injury. He was sentenced on Nov. 17, 2022, by the Honorable James A. Crowell to a total of 32 months of incarceration; however all but 14 months of that sentence was suspended pending the successful completion of an 18-month term of probation that will begin after Peterson’s incarceration. 

            According to the government’s evidence, on the night of Aug. 3, 2022, Peterson and the victim were both present at a lounge in the 2700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. The two knew one another casually from being patrons at the bar. While at the bar, they became engaged in a verbal argument. Peterson was standing next to the victim, who was sitting on a barstool.  At some point during the argument, the victim stood up in front of Peterson. Peterson then grabbed her by her neck and threw her to the floor.

            While the victim was on the floor, Peterson picked up a barstool and struck her in the head with it. When she attempted to get up, Peterson shoved her toward the bar, causing her head to hit the edge of the bar.  After she had fallen to the floor again, Peterson picked up another barstool and again struck her in the head. The attack caused a large laceration to the head and required hospital treatment. Peterson turned himself in on Aug. 11, 2022.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim /Witness Advocate Karina Hernandez.

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Alec Levy, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Updated November 18, 2022

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 22-412