Charges in South Minneapolis assault and attempted rape


PLEASE NOTE: The criminal complaint below has criminal sexual conduct as the charge. It is actually attempted criminal sexual conduct in the first three charges, as is clear in the body of the charge. Also, the complaint mentions the address of the attack on Emerson Avenue North and 28th Street East. That will be changed, because the correct location is Emerson Avenue South and 28th Street West.


A 39-year-old Minneapolis man who was interrupted by passers-by, was charged with violently assaulting a woman and the investigation is continuing into whether he may have committed other assaults, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Keith Eugene Washington, was charged Tuesday with three counts of various types of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree assault. He is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon and prosecutors are asking for bail of $500,000.

“We believe Mr. Washington is a very dangerous man,” Freeman said. “He has a history of choking women until they are unconscious and it is just good fortune that he hasn’t killed one of them. The investigation is continuing and we may be able to bring charges based on other victims. Regardless, we will vigorously prosecute this case, and if successful, seek the longest possible prison sentence.”

According to the criminal complaint, the victim had gone to some Minneapolis bars Saturday night with her sister, but by early Sunday morning, the two had begun arguing. The woman went outside to call another sister to pick her up. While talking on the phone, Washington approached her and began talking to her, which she found annoying.

The woman began walking and Washington followed her and two blocks later, tackled her, the complaint states. He started choking her, first with his forearm and then, while sitting on her, used his hands to squeeze her neck until she passed out. Police found her outside 2810 Emerson Ave. S. with her breasts exposed and her pants pulled down and when they were finally able to bring her to consciousness, she said, “he raped me.”

However, the assault was interrupted by two adults who were walking on 28th Street West and 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. They also provided a good description of the man, according to the complaint.

Police found him a short time later walking on 28th Street. His pants, shoes and socks were covered in dirt. He had the victim’s cell phone and identity card. He also had 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, the complaint states.

Washington was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2000 in a case where he choked the woman and raped her, according to the complaint.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)