August 17, 2010 at 11:38 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Trans woman sexually assaulted near Dupont Circle

A reported sexual assault against a transgender woman behind a building near Dupont Circle on Aug. 13 is the seventh incident of violence against LGBT people with a connection to the neighborhood since June 2, according to police reports.

Police said the latest incident occurred in an unspecified location in the rear of the 2000 block of P Street, N.W., in the early morning hours of Aug. 13, when a suspect approached the victim, whom police have not identified.

“The complainant reports that she was grabbed by the suspect who placed his hand over her mouth,” said Sgt. Carlos Mejia, supervisor of the police’s Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, in an e-mail to local LGBT activists.

“The suspect removed the complainant’s clothes and sexually assaulted the complainant,” Mejia said. “The suspect fled the area on foot. The complainant is a member of the transgender community.”

Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence, which was among the groups to receive Mejia’s e-mail, released the message Monday.

GLOV’s release came on the same day that court records became available showing that the man charged with murdering gay federal worker Delando King on Aug. 8 in D.C. had patronized at least one Dupont Circle gay bar on the night of the murder.

Court records show that Marcus McLean, 24, who is charged with premeditated first-degree murder while armed in connection with King’s stabbing death, was arrested Aug. 14 along the 2100 block of P Street, N.W., within a one-block radius of three gay bars.

Four earlier incidents involving attacks against gay men in the Dupont Circle area have been listed as bias-related assaults that involved anti-gay name calling when suspects attacked the victims. As of earlier this week, no arrests had been made in the five assaults. The fifth of the string of anti-gay bias attacks between June 2 and July 30 took place on Emmerson Street, N.W., outside the Dupont Circle area.

Police said none of the victims in the five assault cases received life-threatening injuries.

A law enforcement source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the transgender victim in the sexual assault case knew the suspect and provided his identity to investigators with the police’s Sexual Assault Unit, which is investigating the case. According to the source, police listed the attack as an incident of first-degree sexual abuse, one of the most serious sexual offenses under the city’s criminal statutes.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • Why is it so hard for the MPD to dispatch a group of cops to pose as gays in the DuPont area to catch these thugs? This is the seventh victim, in a short period of time not counting the poor man who was murdered last weekend. I can’t understand why DC gays and lesbians aren’t up in arms DEMANDING better and more proactive police protection.

    • “Pose as gays”? Yeah, let’s just ask the MPD’s assistance in helping to perpetuate the “limp wristed, sissy stereotype”. We are not monolithic; some of us are proudly mainstream members of society and work very hard to dispel the myths and cartoon stereotypes already associated with our community.

  • I feel confident that Vancouver Rape Relief will fly in to help this victim.

    Then again, I feel confident that the Nationals will make it to the World Series this year.

  • Of Course there is nothing being pursued. City Council, who employes all City personnell, is on Vacation for TWO MONTHS, July and August! Who is in charge of the city during this time? Is No One on-call? Where are our elected officials? What are they being paid for? Do their salaries continue while they take TWO MONTHS OFF from running the City? Seven Incidents of violence targeted against gays and this rash of violence garners nothing from the Council. “Wait until September.” What is the public to do?

    Council Members Salaries are $125,583 and $190,000 for Chairman. This equates to $10,465.25 per month, and $20,930.50 for their two months of vacation when there is no Council Meeting taking place to attend to general matters of the public, let alone Multiple Targeted Attacks.

    Their next meeting for all to Calender is on September 21, 2010.

    Let’s drop ’em a line…

    Vincent C. Gray
    David A. Catania
    Phil Mendelson
    Kwame R. Brown
    Michael A. Brown
    Jim Graham
    Jack Evans
    Marion Barry
    Muriel Bowser
    Harry Thomas, Jr
    Tommy Wells
    Yvette M. Alexander
    Mary M. Cheh

    Vincent C. Gray (202) 724-8032
    David A. Catania (202) 724-7772
    Phil Mendelson (202) 724-8064
    Kwame R. Brown (202) 724-8174
    Michael A. Brown (202) 724-8105
    Jim Graham (202) 724-8181
    Jack Evans (202) 724-8058
    Marion Barry (202) 724-8045
    Muriel Bowser (202) 724-8052
    Harry Thomas, Jr (202) 724-8028
    Tommy Wells (202) 724-8072
    Yvette M. Alexander (202) 724-8068
    Mary M. Cheh (202) 724-8062

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of these recent attacks. This is normally a very safe part of town, one where I could stroll from CVS to Soho Tea & Coffee or even stop in for pizza at Alberto’s without concern. Not anymore.

  • customartist- I have no problem with asking what the City Council is doing but much more relevant is what the Mayor is doing. He is the one that runs city agencies like the MPD not the Council. The Mayor has yet to speak out on these hate crimes. He is now running around apologizing for not speaking out in his first term and saying he will in his second. Well what is he waiting for. There is an old and true saying- Fool me once shame on you- fool me twice shame on me! We shouldn’t take the chance that Adrian Fenty will fool us again. The time to speak out is now not to wait for his second term. During last weeks forum sponsored by DC MAP and CAGLCC he couldn’t even get the words “Hate Crimes” out of his mouth when asked about this spate of crimes. So why would we believe he will ever speak out forcefully in the way we should expect our Mayor to do.

  • Is it safe to visit DC?

    Chief of Police = Cathy L. Lanier|31417|

    Mayor – Adrian M. Fenty

    Dept of Travel and Tourism

    Chamber of Commerce

  • Folks – don’t you get it, our lives don’t matter to these people. And here race doesn’t matter — black, asian, latin, white — anyone gay or lesbian. For you who live in DC, your tax dollars finance your oppression.

    Do you for one moment think that if seven white women had been assaulted over the course of a couple of months, there wouldn’t be an orchestrated response with speeches from the Mayor, Police Chief and City Council?

  • Peter,

    Point taken. Are there links, etc to the DC MAP and CAGLCC forum(s)? Please post them.

    And Bill,

    it wouldn’t have taken more than about 2 or 3 attacks on white women for a response to be orchestrated, Public Statements by the Chief of Police, Mayor, etc. There IS a link on the Police department site to file a complaint, as in against police? Where is the ACLU?

    I just spoke to snippy Ms. Morgan from some Council Members office, which one was unclear. She was completely unaware of what I was referring to with multiple attacks. SHE wanted ME to give her details. I told her to call the Police Dept. I mean, awareness is the job of City Council, Mayor, Police, etc and they aren’t even aware,…so she said. I offended her when I asked “how many attacks on Blacks would it take for city officials to be aware”. She hung up on me.

    Here’s her number: (202)742-8081


  • @ customartist – I admire your activism and calling Ms. Morgan on her homophobia. Turnaround is a bitch — that’s why she hung up on you. Can you imagine if the situation was reversed and someone hung up on her for a similar inquiry? Homophobia is alive and very, very well in DC. And who the hell is she to hang up on a constituent??? I recommend EVERYONE call Ms. Morgan and ask her why the lives of gays and lesbians aren’t as important as others?

  • Folks, whether you like a staffer’s attitude or not, if she asks you for information, you really ought to provide it to her. If you would rather get mad and say she should know about it already, then you are choosing to be mad rather than help. Surely that’s not what you intend. Dealing with public officials and their staffs can be frustrating, but it can also be fruitful. When asked for info, we should always make an effort to provide it (or seek help from somone else), and then follow up. Let’s be part of the solution. If a particular councilmember is hopeless, that’s what elections are for; but in the meantime, we should go the extra mile to help them do the right thing.

  • Buy a handgun if you don’t feel safe. All government is good at is building roads.

  • @ customartist maybe she hung up on you because you were being racist..Just a thought.

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