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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 1, 2019

Virginia Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Sexually Assaulting Intoxicated Woman

           WASHINGTON – Omar Afzali, 29, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was sentenced today to   eight years in prison for sexually assaulting an incapacitated woman in July, 2016, and aiding his cousin in doing the same thing, at a hotel in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced today.

           Afzali pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, one for his own sexual assault, and the other for aiding and abetting the sexual assault committed by his cousin. The Honorable Todd E. Edelman sentenced Afzali to eight years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Afzali will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.

           According to the government’s evidence, the victim first met Afzali after unsuccessfully attempting to hail a cab after leaving a D.C. nightclub in the early morning hours of July 9, 2016.  The victim, who became intoxicated while socializing with her friends earlier that night, accepted Afzali’s offer of a ride. Afzali ended up taking the woman to a hotel on Rhode Island Avenue, N.W.  Security camera video at the hotel showed that the victim was so incapacitated by alcohol and other substances upon arriving at the hotel that, even with Afzali’s assistance, she was stumbling and bumped, face first, into a hallway wall. When Afzali and the woman got to the hotel’s front desk, Afzali had to hold her up so she would not fall down while he filled out the hotel’s paperwork. While Afzali signed them into the hotel, security cam video shows that the victim put her head down on the desk and did not lift her head again until Afzali pulled her away toward the hotel’s elevators.

           Afzali took the victim to a hotel room where, he admitted, he engaged her in sexual acts, including anal intercourse. Afzali further admitted that at the time he had sex with the victim, she was so incapacitated that she was unable to decline, or even to communicate her unwillingness, to engage in sex with Afzali.

           When Afzali finished sexually assaulting the victim, he left the hotel and immediately contacted one of his male cousins, telling his cousin about the victim and how he had just had sex with her. Afzali drove to pick up his cousin, and then drove his cousin back to the hotel, giving his cousin the card key to the hotel room in which Afzali had left the incapacitated victim.  Afzali told his cousin that he would find both the victim, and some unused condoms, in that hotel room.  Afzali’s cousin then went to the hotel room and engaged the victim in multiple acts of vaginal intercourse. The cousin later testified that, during his encounter with the victim, she could barely function and was only partially conscious.

           Afzali admitted at the plea hearing that he aided and abetted his cousin’s sexual assault of the victim. He further admitted that, during the time his cousin was sexually assaulting the victim, both Afzali and his cousin knew, or had reason to know, that the victim was too incapacitated to know what was happening, let alone to consent to having sex with them.

           Although the victim had no recollection of the sexual assaults or of being with either Afzali or his cousin that night, DNA analysis showed that both men’s DNA was on swabs taken of the victim’s intimate body parts.

           In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of the Sexual Assault Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department, the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences, the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and the District of Columbia Forensic Nurse Examiners. She also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Michael Ambrosino, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation, and Forensic Operation/Program Specialist Elizabeth Marrero, who assisted with DNA issues; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharon Marcus-Kurn, Mark O’Brien, Amy Zubrensky and Sarah McClellan; Paralegal Specialists Brenda C. Williams and Tiffany Jones; Supervisory Victim Witness Service Coordinator Katina Adams-Washington; and Victim/ Witness Advocate Juanita Harris.

           Finally, U.S. Attorney Liu commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Matt Williams and Peter V. Taylor, who investigated and prosecuted this case. 

Press Release Number: 
19-206
Updated November 1, 2019