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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Maryland Man Found Guilty of Assaulting Five Women At Knifepoint in Attacks Near Metro Stations

Crimes Took Place in Summer of 2015

            WASHINGTON - Demetrius Banks, 32, of Riverdale, Md., has been found guilty of 23 felony counts for assaulting five women at knifepoint who were walking home alone from the Fort Totten and Brookland Metro stations, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Peter Newsham, Interim Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Two of the victims were sexually assaulted.

            The verdicts were delivered yesterday and today and followed a four-week trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Banks was found guilty of three counts of first-degree sexual abuse while armed with aggravating circumstances; one count of attempted first-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances; one count of third-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances; five counts of robbery while armed; four counts of kidnapping while armed; four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon; four counts of threats, and one count of credit card fraud. The Honorable José M. Lopez scheduled sentencing for Jan. 27, 2017. Banks remains in custody pending sentencing.

            According to the government’s evidence, the assaults occurred over a one-month period, from July 28 to Aug. 28, 2015, and included this series of attacks:

            July 28, 2015: The defendant’s first victim, a 21-year-old cashier, was walking home alone after work, headed from the Fort Totten Metro station at about 10:30 p.m.  The victim encountered Banks, a stranger to her, standing in the unit block of Riggs Road NE.  As she passed him, he suddenly grabbed her from behind, pressed a knife to her side, and threatened to kill her.  He forced her at knifepoint into a dark driveway behind a school.  He then raped her and robbed her.  The victim was taken to Washington Hospital Center, where she underwent a sexual assault examination, which included collection of forensic evidence.

            July 31, 2015: The second victim, a 26-year-old bartender, was walking home from the Fort Totten Metro station at about midnight, in the 800 block of Gallatin Street NE. Banks pretended to be leaving a house on the block, then grabbed the victim from behind and forced her at knifepoint into a dark alleyway, where he robbed her.

            Aug. 4, 2015:  The third victim, a 26-year-old government employee, was walking home from the Fort Totten Metro station at approximately 10:30 p.m., taking the same route as the first victim.  In the unit block of Riggs Road NE - across the street from where the defendant had committed a sexual assault exactly one week earlier - Banks grabbed this victim from behind, threatened her with a knife, and began dragging her by her hair into a nearby wooded area.  When a passerby saw the assault and intervened, Banks grabbed the victim’s purse and fled.

            Aug. 23, 2015: The fourth victim, a 41-year-old server, was walking home from the Fort Totten Metro station at about 3:30 a.m. when Banks approached her and demanded she give him her property.  He was again armed with a knife.  This robbery occurred in the 600 block of Gallatin Street NE, a couple of blocks from the July 31, 2015 attack.

            Aug. 28, 2015: The fifth victim, a 22-year-old waitress, was walking home from the Brookland Metro station, one stop from the Fort Totten station, at about midnight. Banks pretended to arrive at a house, and when the victim passed him by, he grabbed her from behind and forced her at knifepoint into a dark driveway.  In the driveway, he raped and robbed her.  The victim was able to escape and ran naked into the middle of the street, where police officers happened to drive by and find her.  She was also taken to Washington Hospital Center and underwent a sexual assault examination, which included collection of forensic evidence.

            Detectives with the Metropolitan Police Department obtained surveillance footage of the defendant using the fifth victim’s credit card shortly after sexually assaulting and robbing her.  This footage was broadcast by the news media, and tips led to the identification of Banks as a suspect.  In subsequent forensic testing, the defendant’s DNA was found on evidence collected during the sexual assault examinations of the two victims. The police investigation also uncovered that Banks had used the credit cards of the third and fifth victims at convenience stores shortly after those assaults. In addition, investigation by the Metro Transit Police Department revealed that Banks had been using the Metro cards of both sexual assault victims to travel around the city.  When search warrants were executed for the defendant’s home and property with the assistance of the Prince George’s County Police Department, police recovered numerous items of property belonging to the third and fifth victims, as well as victims from unrelated cases.  Banks was arrested on Sept. 4, 2015.

            In announcing the verdicts, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Interim Chief Newsham commended the work of detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Sexual Assault Unit and Fourth Police District, as well as the Metro Transit Police Department.  They also commended those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia A. Riley, Chrisellen Kolb, and Deborah Sines; Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation; Paralegal Specialists D’Yvonne Key, Angelina Slagle, Michelle Wicker, Kathryn Hoey, and Benjamin Kagan-Guthrie; Victim/Witness Advocates Lezlie Richardson, Tracey Hawkins, and Veronica Vaughan; Litigation Technology Specialists Leif Hickling and Anisha Bhatia; David Foster, Katina Adams-Washington, and La June Thames, all of the Victim/Witness Assistance Unit; Criminal Investigators Durand Odom and Mark Crawford; Investigative Analysts William Hamann and Sharon Johnson, and Computer Forensic Examiner John Marsh.  Finally, they acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Park and Julianne Johnston, who investigated and are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
16-221
Updated November 10, 2016