Grand jury indicts man on 13 counts in two attempted rapes

Friday, February 05, 2016

The Hennepin County Grand Jury indicted a Minneapolis man on 13 counts, involving two separate attempted rapes of women on Dec. 6. Also, prosecutors filed criminal charges against him on a third rape, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Keith Eugene Washington, 39, of Minneapolis, was indicted Thursday on four counts of first-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct, which calls for a mandatory life sentence since Washington is a repeat offender. He was previously convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2000 in a case where he choked a woman and raped her.

In connection with the Dec. 6 assaults, Washington also was indicted on four counts of attempted second-degree criminal sexual conduct as well as two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of first-degree assault and one count of kidnapping.

In the first case considered by the grand jury, the victim was attacked in the 2800 block of Emerson Avenue S. She told police Washington started choking her first with his forearm and then, while sitting on her, used his hands to squeeze her neck until she passed out. The assault was interrupted by two adults walking on 28th Street West. When they heard muffled screams from a woman, they went over and saw a man on top of the victim. They asked if she was alright and the man said “she’s fine.” The two witnesses continued to approach, but the man pointed something at them, so they fled, hid behind a car and called police, who arrived at the scene at 4:43 a.m., according to a criminal complaint filed in December.

Police found Washington a short time later. His pants, shoes and socks were covered in dirt. He had the victim’s cell phone and identity card. He also had the cell phone, identity card and a bag of groceries of another woman who told police she was choked to unconsciousness and sexually assaulted two hours earlier and just a few blocks away. No charges had been filed against Washington in the assault of that woman until the grand jury indictment.

The third charge, filed by the county attorney’s office Thursday morning, was for first-degree criminal sexual conduct in an attack on July 23. The victim had been seeing Washington since his release from prison in May. In the early morning, they were fighting and he forced her into the bedroom of his sister’s house and strangled her into unconsciousness. When she awoke, he beat her, according to the criminal complaint.

Eventually, Washington took her to his mother’s house where he was staying and raped her. He did not allow her to leave until July 24. When she was finally able to get to a hospital, a sexual assault exam was conducted and DNA from Washington was found on her body.

Washington was scheduled to make his first appearance on that charge and the grand jury indictments today.

New Criminal Complaint (PDF)