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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Virginia Man Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Violent Attack And Sexual Assault At LoungeFor Violent Attack And Sexual Assault At Lounge

     WASHINGTON -Amulraj Arun, 29, of Fairfax, Va., was recently sentenced to five years in prison for a vicious attack he committed last year against a young woman at a lounge in Northwest Washington, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Arun was found guilty by a jury in March 2014, following a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, of kidnapping and sexual abuse. He was sentenced on June 6, 2014 by the Honorable Milton C. Lee. Following his prison term, Arun will be placed on three years of supervised release.  He also must register as a sex offender for 10 years following his release.

     According to the government’s evidence, on the evening of May 30, 2013, the victim and her husband traveled to Washington D.C. by way of New York from their home in San Francisco to attend a college reunion. The victim and her husband met a few friends for dinner before going to the 18th Street Lounge, in the 1200 block of 18th Street NW.

     After arriving at the lounge, the victim separated from her friends and husband to find the bathroom.  She went up one flight of stairs and encountered Arun, a stranger to her. Arun was leaning against a desk and, though she did not realize it at the time, blocking the bathroom. Arun directed the victim up another flight of stairs, telling her that she would find the bathroom there.

     The victim, trusting the defendant, went up the stairs. The upper floor where Arun had directed the victim was dark and dimly lit, and so she took out her cell phone to illuminate the path. The victim felt concerned that the floor was so removed from any other activity in the establishment, and so she also texted her husband, asking him to come upstairs. 

     Once the victim reached the top of the stairs, Arun raced behind her. He lunged for her, grabbing and squeezing her breast with one hand while wrapping his other arm around her body.  Arun wrapped his arms around her neck, choking the victim and cutting off her air supply.  He then aggressively tried to drag her into the room he had previously identified to the victim as the bathroom – which was actually a small, dark utility closet.  The victim struggled with all her might, wrapping her arms around the bannister at the top of the stairs and clinging to it.  She started screaming in the hope that someone would come to her aid.

     In response, Arun wrapped his hands around the victim’s mouth to muffle her screams. He continued to choke her and tried to drag her back into the room behind them.  The victim continued to fight, kicking out one of the railings below the bannister.  Once the railing was dislodged, the victim slid to the floor, her leg sliding between the railings, her foot dangling precariously over the floors below. Arun slid down, too, and he continued to try to drag her back. 

     The victim’s husband came upstairs, and Arun ran away as the husband came to the victim’s aid. A bouncer, who had heard screaming and went toward the crime scene to investigate, crossed paths with Arun as he fled the lounge.  The bouncer pursued the defendant and saw him drop his passport as he ran down the stairs. The bouncer turned the passport over to members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), who were on patrol outside the lounge. Arun was apprehended by the police a short time later in the vicinity of the lounge. 

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the detectives, officers, and crime scene technicians who investigated the case for the Metropolitan Police Department.  He also commended the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Joyce Arthur and Victim Witness Advocate Meshall Thomas.  Lastly, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Parikh, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

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Updated February 19, 2015