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Justice News

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

Friday, June 3, 2016

District Man Sentenced to 33 Years in Prison For Sexually Assaulting Two Women in Alley

Defendant Attempted to Escape While Incarcerated

            WASHINGTON - Hassain Smart, 20, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 33 years in prison on charges stemming from sexual assaults he committed against two women in an alley in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips announced.

            Smart pled guilty in December 2015, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of first-degree sexual abuse while armed, first-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances, robbery while armed, and kidnapping while armed.  The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for a prison term of 27 to 33 years.  The Honorable Jennifer Anderson accepted the plea today and sentenced the defendant accordingly. Following his prison term, Smart will be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life. Smart also will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

            According to the government’s evidence, at about 1 a.m. on June 25, 2015, the two victims began to open the door to their home in the unit block of T Street NW when Smart, a stranger, approached from behind and brandished what appeared to be a black handgun.  He led both women through a dark alley into a muddy area between a fence and a vacant house under construction.  Smart raped both women in the alley while continuing to brandish the weapon.

            After the sexual assaults, Smart refused to allow the victims to leave until they surrendered their cell phones and a debit card to him.  When he finally left, the victims contacted law enforcement, and detectives from the Sexual Assault Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded and immediately began an investigation.

            An MPD patrol officer in the Seventh District spotted the defendant, who matched the description given by the victims. Smart was arrested after police found the victims’ cell phones and debit card and the weapon in his possession.  Smart then confessed to kidnapping, robbing, and sexually assaulting both women while brandishing the weapon.

            After reporting the assault to the police, the victims were transported to Washington Hospital Center for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE), which included collection of forensic evidence.  Bode Technologies later conducted DNA testing and concluded that the major male profile found on intimate swabs from a victim’s SANE kit matched the DNA profile of the defendant.

            On April 2, 2016, while incarcerated pending sentencing, Smart attempted to escape from the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF) in Washington, D.C., but his escape attempt was thwarted by correctional officers.  During his attempt, Smart first jumped over the jail recreation yard’s inner perimeter fence.  After jumping that fence, he pulled a white bed sheet that he had hidden in his pants leg. Smart spent several minutes surveying the outer perimeter fence while holding the sheet, until he was ordered by correctional officers to drop the sheet and lay on the ground.  On May 13, 2016, Smart pled guilty to a charge of escape. He was sentenced today to six months in prison for that offense, to run consecutively to his other prison sentence.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips commended the work of the detectives of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit, the Fifth and Seventh Police Districts, and crime scene technicians.  He also expressed appreciation to Bode Technologies. He also commended those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Veronica Vaughan and Paralegal Specialists Tierra Nanches and Jason Manuel.  Finally, he acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Zubrensky and Julianne Johnston, who prosecuted the case.

Press Release Number: 
Updated June 3, 2016