Seminal Fluid Found After Massage Parlor Robbery Leads to Conviction
HOUSTON – Two men have been convicted after being identified by DNA found in seminal fluid left after the armed robbery of a Houston area massage parlor, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
20-year old Houston resident Javian Chapman pleaded guilty today to two counts of aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery and one count of aiding and abetting the discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Co-defendant Joseph Berzat, 21, also of Houston, entered his plea to the same charges March 9, 2018.
From approximately 11:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, until approximately 1:30 a.m. Aug. 6, 2016, Chapman and Berzat entered Hana Spa located at 14015 Bammel North in Houston, demanding money and property at gunpoint. They ultimate left with cash, a Samsung Galaxy S5 cell phone and a 2014 Acura SUV. The suspects also broke open the ATM and removed cash from inside using a drill and other tools they had brought with them.
During the robbery, the suspects had physically assaulted some of the employees. Authorities later processed the scene for forensic evidence and uncovered DNA from seminal fluid found at the scene which positively identified Berzat and Chapman. Investigators also recovered a palm print from the ATM, which was determined to match Berzat. In addition, Spa employees also identified both men as the suspects that held pistols and demanded money during the robbery.
U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon accepted the pleas and set sentencing for July 6, 2018. At that time, both men face up to 20 years for the robbery as well as another mandatory 10 years for the firearms charge which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed. The charges also carry a potential maximum fine of $250,000.
Chapman and Berzat have been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI and Harris County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carrie Wirsing and Jill J. Stotts prosecuted the case which was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a nationwide program to reduce gun and gang crime in America and the Houston Law Enforcement Violent Crime Initiative which seeks to proactively fight violent crime across the Greater Houston area.