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Air Force Sec’y reportedly won’t drop case against gay lieutenant

Critics see political motive, pressure to prosecute sexual assaults

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Joshua Seefried, gay news, Washington Blade
Joshua Seefried, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay Air Force Lt. Joshua Seefried is facing sexual assault charges. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James appears to have denied a request by gay Air Force Lt. Joshua Seefried to resign from the service in exchange for not facing a court martial for sexual assault charges pending against him, according to sources familiar with the case.

In response to a request by the Washington Blade for an update on the status of the Seefried case, an Air Force spokesperson said last week that an “administrative matter” that had been pending since March had been resolved and the case was back on track for a court martial trial.

“The administrative matter has been resolved and the case is now pending re-referral of charges,” said Lt. Col. Joel Harper, public affairs director for the Air Force District of Washington.

Seefried, his attorney, and Air Force officials have declined to say what the administrative matter was. But two attorneys with expertise in military law have said that based on the known facts in the case, the administrative matter most likely was a request for resignation in lieu of court martial.

All such requests in Air Force cases must be approved by the Air Force Secretary.

If James had approved the resignation request the criminal charges against Seefried would have been dismissed. James would then make a determination on whether Seefried would be discharged under three possible conditions – honorable, general under honorable conditions, or “other than honorable.” The latter condition is a designation that often results in a stigma attached to a service member’s permanent record.

Seefried, who in 2010 founded the LGBT service members group OutServe, was charged in April 2014 with wrongful and abusive sexual contact and forcible sodomy. The charges stem from allegations by a gay male U.S. Marine lieutenant that Seefried allegedly performed sexual acts on him in a New York hotel room in 2012 while he was intoxicated and unable to give consent.

A military investigator who presided over two separate pre-court martial proceedings in the case known as Article 32 hearings, concluded following both proceedings that there was insufficient evidence to prove the allegations against Seefried and that a court martial would most likely result in Seefried’s acquittal.

The investigator, Col. Robert Preston, recommended against a court martial and that the charges should be dropped. But Maj. General Darryl Burke, commander of the Air Force District of Washington, overruled Preston’s recommendations both times and ordered that the case go to court martial.

Burke’s decision in March to overrule Preston a second time reportedly set in motion the administrative request by Seefried to seek resignation in lieu of court martial. Military District of Washington officials, possibly including Burke, reportedly gave their support for Seefried’s resignation in lieu of court martial, according to two sources familiar with the case.

Eric Montalvo, the founding partner in the D.C.-based national law firm The Federal Practice, served as a military defense lawyer and prosecutor for more than 21 years in the U.S. Marine Corps before going into private practice. He told the Blade this week that he isn’t surprised that Gen. Burke and Air Force Secretary James pushed for sending Seefried’s case to court martial.

Following intense political pressure over the past several years by members of Congress and the White House to address reports of what critics have called an explosive number of rape and sexual assault cases in the U.S. military, Montalvo said the pendulum appears to have swung in the opposite direction, with many sexual assault cases going to court martial even if the evidence is weak or suspect.

“Now particularly in the current political environment,” said Montalvo, “10 times out of 10 it’s going to get referred to a general court martial.”

He said that in cases he has observed, military authorities appear to be especially aggressive in prosecuting officers like Seefried as opposed to enlisted members on sexual assault cases.

“It doesn’t even have to be a straight faced allegation because I’ve seen all kinds of craziness coming through the system now,” he said. “And so the pendulum has swung to the absurd and in my opinion a lot of true victims are getting lost in this shuffle because the amount of nonsense coming through the system is beyond belief.”

Montalvo said only Seefried and his attorneys have the full details on the facts of the case. But he said that from what he knows of the case from information on the public record and from what the Blade has reported, he’s surprised that Seefried chose an administrative route, which could have landed him a less than honorable discharge, rather than agree to go to court martial and seek a full acquittal.

“Col. Preston knows what he’s doing and if he said this is an acquittal I believe him,” said Montalvo. “If you have ever met Col. Preston or spoken to Col. Preston you will understand he is a man of measured and deliberate intellect. And so he is not going to shoot off the hip or whatever,” Montalvo said. “And so I have a high confidence that if Col. Preston – because I know him and have practiced in front of him – made that determination he’s probably right.”

Because of this, Montalvo said he would have advised Seefried to go to court martial, where he would likely win an acquittal.

Among other things, Montalvo cited testimony at the second of the two pre-court martial Article 32 proceedings by a U.S. Coast Guard officer who was with Seefried and the Marine lieutenant who has accused Seefried of sexual assault. In his testimony, Coast Guard Lt. Commander John Fiorentine said he, the Marine and Seefried engaged in a fully consensual sexual encounter in Seefried’s New York hotel room.

“We got into bed – the three of us,” he said. “I believe [the Marine] was a willing participant,” he said.

Air Force spokesperson Harper said neither he nor other Air Force officials would confirm or deny that the so-far-unexplained “administrative matter” involved Air Force Secretary James denying Seefried’s request to resign in lieu of a court martial.

Harper, however, did release to the Blade a statement from Air Force headquarters at the Pentagon denying that the Seefried case or other sexual assault cases in the Air Force were being subjected to improper pressure or outside political influence to go to court martial rather than dismiss the case for insufficient evidence.

“Regardless of outside interest or media attention on a case, the decisions that result in a case being tried by court-martial are based on the law and the evidence in the specific case,” the statement says. “The commanders who make those decisions do so after reviewing the evidence and receiving the advice of legal counsel,” it says.

“The military justice system protects and defends the rights of all Airmen, including victims of crime as well as those accused of committing an offense,” the statement says. “Airmen and the American public can continue to have confidence that the system provides justice and ensures a ready and disciplined Air Force.”

Harper said a motion that Seefried’s attorney filed in December 2014 calling for dismissal of all charges against Seefried on grounds of unlawful command influence was “no longer pending before the court.” He said the administrative matter resulted in a deferral of the trial and a subsequent “re-referral” of the charges that removed the motion from consideration.

Seefried’s attorney, Richard Stevens, suggested at the time that military officials, including Gen. Burke, were being subjected to outside political pressure to take sexual assault cases to court martial out of fear that their careers would be in jeopardy if they chose to dismiss such cases.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. old married lady

    December 23, 2015 at 12:57 am

    If he’s found guilty, he’s a jerk. But I’m thrilled that the military is taking this case seriously and treating it as an assault case. Not so long ago, they’d have been seeking to punish the lieutenant just for being gay, and the alleged victim might have run the same risk for making the accusation.

    • NORMAN DOSTAL

      December 23, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      if hes found a guilty, its nonsense-gay men want blow jobs-they were both drunk and both wanted it-dumb

  2. karloskasteneda

    December 23, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Eric Montalvo hit the nail on the head with this statement: “It doesn’t even have to be a straight faced allegation because I’ve seen all kinds of craziness coming through the system now,” he said. “And so the pendulum has swung to the absurd and in my opinion a lot of true victims are getting lost in this shuffle because the amount of nonsense coming through the system is beyond belief.”

  3. NORMAN DOSTAL

    December 23, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    this is stupid-they were both drunk and wanted sex-no case here

    • Foodahz

      December 23, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Classic projection. Good thing you’re not involved in the case.

      • NORMAN DOSTAL

        January 5, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        aw, did I hurt the feelings of a liberal bleeding heart pusssy? no case here, as I said…

        • Foodahz

          January 7, 2016 at 12:05 am

          The U.S. Air Force Secretary begs to differ. I’ll take her word over yours, troll.

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            January 7, 2016 at 7:28 pm

            Nope. As I said, no case here per my sources. Not a troll, you silly tit

          • NORMAN DOSTAL

            January 7, 2016 at 7:31 pm

            there were numerous witnesses that saw them all over each other-it was consensual and the court will prove it-now get outta here

          • Foodahz

            January 8, 2016 at 2:37 pm

            Witness are never wrong. They never lie. They never mis-perceive. Norman knows everything (except how to cite factual sources).

  4. JON B.

    December 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Wow. Like this will waste millions of tax payers dollars, not to mention mindless media attention over much-ado about nothing!

    This is absolutely ridiculous! He was a willing consenting adult/participant, as it was a three-way that ensued, as was/is testified to by the Coast Guard Lt. Commander John Fiorentine who said…”He, the Marine and Seefried engaged in a fully consensual sexual encounter in Seefried’s New York hotel room.” “We got into bed – the three of us,” he said. “I believe [the Marine] was a willing participant,” he said.

    Thus, there is not nearly enough sufficient evidence that would merit or warrant for this clap-trap bs to go any further and shall end with a full acquittal. Watch, wait and see.

    I just hope that all those who pushed for a court martial here are court martialed themselves for being so blasted fear-ridden, cowardly, and sold-out sluts afraid of losing their cushy jobs if they had done what was right and simply threw it out in the first place!

    The solution is quite simple…don’t go out drunk and inebriated and then have sex with strangers or multiple partners if you can’t maintain control over your own behaviors and mitigating circumstances. Duh!

    You can’t rape the willing. It sounds to me like this Marine is so easy that the only time he shouts “Don’t!”, is just before he screams, “Stop!”

  5. paulakey

    December 27, 2015 at 1:10 am

    There were three men involved – the ‘third’ man must have agreed with the ‘victim’! ??

  6. Save Our Heroes

    March 13, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    False allegations of sexual misconduct in military strike with terrifying accuracy and absolute power. False accusations destroy the lives and careers of the accused; the same can be said of those with the courage to stand up for innocent service members. Our current military Commanders have taken note and become too cowed to intervene; thus causing wrongfully accused service members to lose their careers and/or end up in prison. Major Gen. Darryl Burke, commander of the Air Force District of Washington is one of those cowardly commanders.

    “Major Gen. Darryl Burke, commander of the Air Force District of Washington, disregarded (Judge) Preston’s recommendation and ordered the case go to trial in a court martial at Joint Base Andrews.” (Washington Blade)

    This is just another case of a military Judge making a recommendation based on the facts/evidence and a General with no legal training ignoring the Judge. Permitting Generals to completely disregard the legal recommendations of a military Judge is counter-intuitive and corrupt.

    The brave men and women who have selflessly volunteered to protect our country deserve better.

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Equality Act, contorted as a danger by anti-LGBTQ forces, is all but dead

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise

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Despite having President Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, efforts to update federal civil rights laws to strengthen the prohibition on discrimination against LGBTQ people by passing the Equality Act are all but dead as opponents of the measure have contorted it beyond recognition.

Political willpower is lacking to find a compromise that would be acceptable to enough Republican senators to end a filibuster on the bill — a tall order in any event — nor is there the willpower to force a vote on the Equality Act as opponents stoke fears about transgender kids in sports and not even unanimity in the Democratic caucus in favor of the bill is present, stakeholders who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said.

In fact, there are no imminent plans to hold a vote on the legislation even though Pride month is days away, which would be an opportune time for Congress to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community by holding a vote on the legislation.

If the Equality Act were to come up for a Senate vote in the next month, it would not have the support to pass. Continued assurances that bipartisan talks are continuing on the legislation have yielded no evidence of additional support, let alone the 10 Republicans needed to end a filibuster.

“I haven’t really heard an update either way, which is usually not good,” one Democratic insider said. “My understanding is that our side was entrenched in a no-compromise mindset and with [Sen. Joe] Manchin saying he didn’t like the bill, it doomed it this Congress. And the bullying of hundreds of trans athletes derailed our message and our arguments of why it was broadly needed.”

The only thing keeping the final nail from being hammered into the Equality Act’s coffin is the unwillingness of its supporters to admit defeat. Other stakeholders who spoke to the Blade continued to assert bipartisan talks are ongoing, strongly pushing back on any conclusion the legislation is dead.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Equality Act is “alive and well,” citing widespread public support he said includes “the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents and a growing number of communities across the country engaging and mobilizing every day in support of the legislation.”

“They understand the urgent need to pass this bill and stand up for LGBTQ people across our country,” David added. “As we engage with elected officials, we have confidence that Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents and continue fighting for the Equality Act through the lengthy legislative process.  We will also continue our unprecedented campaign to grow the already-high public support for a popular bill that will save lives and make our country fairer and more equal for all. We will not stop until the Equality Act is passed.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chief sponsor of the Equality Act in the Senate, also signaled through a spokesperson work continues on the legislation, refusing to give up on expectations the legislation would soon become law.

“Sen. Merkley and his staff are in active discussions with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to try to get this done,” McLennan said. “We definitely see it as a key priority that we expect to become law.”

A spokesperson Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had promised to force a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate on the day the U.S. House approved it earlier this year, pointed to a March 25 “Dear Colleague” letter in which he identified the Equality Act as one of several bills he’d bring up for a vote.

Despite any assurances, the hold up on the bill is apparent. Although the U.S. House approved the legislation earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t even reported out the bill yet to the floor in the aftermath of the first-ever Senate hearing on the bill in March. A Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic aide, however, disputed that inaction as evidence the Equality Act is dead in its tracks: “Bipartisan efforts on a path forward are ongoing.”

Democrats are quick to blame Republicans for inaction on the Equality Act, but with Manchin withholding his support for the legislation they can’t even count on the entirety of their caucus to vote “yes” if it came to the floor. Progressives continue to advocate an end to the filibuster to advance legislation Biden has promised as part of his agenda, but even if they were to overcome headwinds and dismantle the institution needing 60 votes to advance legislation, the Equality Act would likely not have majority support to win approval in the Senate with a 50-50 party split.

The office of Manchin, who has previously said he couldn’t support the Equality Act over concerns about public schools having to implement the transgender protections applying to sports and bathrooms, hasn’t responded to multiple requests this year from the Blade on the legislation and didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who declined to co-sponsor the Equality Act this year after having signed onto the legislation in the previous Congress, insisted through a spokesperson talks are still happening across the aisle despite the appearances the legislation is dead.

“There continues to be bipartisan support for passing a law that protects the civil rights of Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson. “The Equality Act was a starting point for negotiations, and in its current form, it cannot pass. That’s why there are ongoing discussions among senators and stakeholders about a path forward.”

Let’s face it: Anti-LGBTQ forces have railroaded the debate by making the Equality Act about an end to women’s sports by allowing transgender athletes and danger to women in sex-segregated places like bathrooms and prisons. That doesn’t even get into resolving the issue on drawing the line between civil rights for LGBTQ people and religious freedom, which continues to be litigated in the courts as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to issue a ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to determine if foster care agencies can reject same-sex couples over religious objections.

For transgender Americans, who continue to report discrimination and violence at high rates, the absence of the Equality Act may be most keenly felt.

Mara Keisling, outgoing executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, disputed any notion the Equality Act is dead and insisted the legislation is “very much alive.”

“We remain optimistic despite misinformation from the opposition,” Keisling said. “NCTE and our movement partners are still working fruitfully on the Equality Act with senators. In fact, we are gaining momentum with all the field organizing we’re doing, like phone banking constituents to call their senators. Legislating takes time. Nothing ever gets through Congress quickly. We expect to see a vote during this Congress, and we are hopeful we can win.”

But one Democratic source said calls to members of Congress against the Equality Act, apparently coordinated by groups like the Heritage Foundation, have has outnumbered calls in favor of it by a substantial margin, with a particular emphasis on Manchin.

No stories are present in the media about same-sex couples being kicked out of a restaurant for holding hands or transgender people for using the restroom consistent with their gender identity, which would be perfectly legal in 25 states thanks to the patchwork of civil rights laws throughout the United States and inadequate protections under federal law.

Tyler Deaton, senior adviser for the American Unity Fund, which has bolstered the Republican-led Fairness for All Act as an alternative to the Equality Act, said he continues to believe the votes are present for a compromise form of the bill.

“I know for a fact there is a supermajority level of support in the Senate for a version of the Equality Act that is fully protective of both LGBTQ civil rights and religious freedom,” Deaton said. “There is interest on both sides of the aisle in getting something done this Congress.”

Deaton, however, didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on what evidence exists of agreeing on this compromise.

Biden has already missed the goal he campaigned on in the 2020 election to sign the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. Although Biden renewed his call to pass the legislation in his speech to Congress last month, as things stand now that appears to be a goal he won’t realize for the remainder of this Congress.

Nor has the Biden administration made the Equality Act an issue for top officials within the administration as it pushes for an infrastructure package as a top priority. One Democratic insider said Louisa Terrell, legislative affairs director for the White House, delegated work on the Equality Act to a deputy as opposed to handling it herself.

To be sure, Biden has demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community through executive action at an unprecedented rate, signing an executive order on day one ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County to the fullest extent possible and dismantling former President Trump’s transgender military ban. Biden also made historic LGBTQ appointments with the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health.

A White House spokesperson insisted Biden’s team across the board remains committed to the Equality Act, pointing to his remarks to Congress.

“President Biden has urged Congress to get the Equality Act to his desk so he can sign it into law and provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, and he remains committed to seeing this legislation passed as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The White House and its entire legislative team remains in ongoing and close coordination with organizations, leaders, members of Congress, including the Equality Caucus, and staff to ensure we are working across the aisle to push the Equality Act forward.”

But at least in the near-term, that progress will fall short of fulfilling the promise of updating federal civil rights law with the Equality Act, which will mean LGBTQ people won’t be able to rely on those protections when faced with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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D.C. bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense delayed by Capitol security

Delivery of bill to Congress was held up due to protocols related to Jan. 6 riots

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New fencing around the Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented some D.C. bills from being delivered to the Hill for a required congressional review. (Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A bill approved unanimously last December by the D.C. Council to ban the so-called LGBTQ panic defense has been delayed from taking effect as a city law because the fence installed around the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented the law from being delivered to Congress.

According to Eric Salmi, communications director for D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who guided the bill through the Council’s legislative process, all bills approved by the Council and signed by the D.C. mayor must be hand-delivered to Congress for a required congressional review.

“What happened was when the Capitol fence went up after the January insurrection, it created an issue where we physically could not deliver laws to Congress per the congressional review period,” Salmi told the Washington Blade.

Among the bills that could not immediately be delivered to Congress was the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020, which was approved by the Council on a second and final vote on Dec. 15.

Between the time the bill was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and published in the D.C. Register under procedural requirements for all bills, it was not ready to be transmitted to Congress until Feb. 16, the Council’s legislative record for the bill shows.

Salmi said the impasse in delivering the bill to Congress due to the security fence prevented the bill from reaching Congress on that date and prevented the mandatory 60-day congressional review period for this bill from beginning at that time. He noted that most bills require a 30 legislative day review by Congress.

But the Evangelista-Hunter bill, named after a transgender woman and a gay man who died in violent attacks by perpetrators who attempted to use the trans and gay panic defense, includes a law enforcement related provision that under the city’s Home Rule Charter passed by Congress in the early 1970s requires a 60-day congressional review.

“There is a chance it goes into effect any day now, just given the timeline is close to being up,” Salmi said on Tuesday. “I don’t know the exact date it was delivered, but I do know the countdown is on,” said Salmi, who added, “I would expect any day now it should go into effect and there’s nothing stopping it other than an insurrection in January.”

If the delivery to Congress had not been delayed, the D.C. Council’s legislative office estimated the congressional review would have been completed by May 12.

A congressional source who spoke on condition of being identified only as a senior Democratic aide, said the holdup of D.C. bills because of the Capitol fence has been corrected.

“The House found an immediate workaround, when this issue first arose after the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the aide said.

“This is yet another reason why D.C. Council bills should not be subject to a congressional review period and why we need to grant D.C. statehood,” the aide said.

The aide added that while no disapproval resolution had been introduced in Congress to overturn the D.C. Evangelista-Hunter bill, House Democrats would have defeated such a resolution.

“House Democrats support D.C. home rule, statehood, and LGBTQ rights,” said the aide.

LGBTQ rights advocates have argued that a ban on using a gay or transgender panic defense in criminal trials is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

Some attorneys have argued that their clients “panicked” after discovering the person against whom they committed a violent crime was gay or transgender, prompting them to act in a way they believed to be a form of self-defense.

In addition to its provision banning the LGBTQ panic defense, the Evangelista-Hunter bill includes a separate provision that strengthens the city’s existing hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime such as assault, murder, or threats to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

LGBTQ supportive prosecutors have said the clarification was needed because it is often difficult to prove to a jury that hatred is the only motive behind a violent crime. The prosecutors noted that juries have found defendants not guilty of committing a hate crime on grounds that they believed other motives were involved in a particular crime after defense lawyers argued that the law required “hate” to be the only motive in order to find someone guilty of a hate crime.

Salmi noted that while the hate crime clarification and panic defense prohibition provisions of the Evangelista-Hunter bill will become law as soon as the congressional review is completed, yet another provision in the bill will not become law after the congressional review because there are insufficient funds in the D.C. budget to cover the costs of implementing the provision.

The provision gives the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the Office of the D.C. Attorney General authority to investigate hate related discrimination at places of public accommodation. Salmi said the provision expands protections against discrimination to include web-based retailers or online delivery services that are not physically located in D.C.

“That is subject to appropriations,” Salmi said. “And until it is funded in the upcoming budget it cannot be legally enforced.”

He said that at Council member Allen’s request, the Council added language to the bill that ensures that all other provisions of the legislation that do not require additional funding – including the ban on use of the LGBTQ panic defense and the provision clarifying that hatred doesn’t have to be the sole motive for a hate crime – will take effect as soon as the congressional approval process is completed.

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D.C. man charged with 2020 anti-gay death threat rearrested

Defendant implicated in three anti-LGBTQ incidents since 2011

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shooting, DC Eagle, assault, hate crime, anti-gay attack, police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

A D.C. man arrested in August 2020 for allegedly threatening to kill a gay man outside the victim’s apartment in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood and who was released while awaiting trial was arrested again two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill another man in an unrelated incident.

D.C. Superior Court records show that Jalal Malki, who was 37 at the time of his 2020 arrest on a charge of bias-related attempts to do bodily harm against the gay man, was charged on May 4, 2021 with unlawful entry, simple assault, threats to kidnap and injure a person, and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon against the owner of a vacant house at 4412 Georgia Ave., N.W.

Court charging documents state that Malki was allegedly staying at the house without permission as a squatter. An arrest affidavit filed in court by D.C. police says Malki allegedly threatened to kill the man who owns the house shortly after the man arrived at the house while Malki was inside.

According to the affidavit, Malki walked up to the owner of the house while the owner was sitting in his car after having called police and told him, “If you come back here, I’m going to kill you.” While making that threat Malki displayed what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, but which was later found to be a toy gun, the affidavit says.

Malki then walked back inside the house minutes before police arrived and arrested him. Court records show that similar to the court proceedings following his 2020 arrest for threatening the gay man, a judge in the latest case ordered Malki released while awaiting trial. In both cases, the judge ordered him to stay away from the two men he allegedly threatened to kill.

An arrest affidavit filed by D.C. police in the 2020 case states that Malki allegedly made the threats inside an apartment building where the victim lived on the 2300 block of Champlain Street, N.W. It says Malki was living in a nearby building but often visited the building where the victim lived.

“Victim 1 continued to state during an interview that it was not the first time that Defendant 1 had made threats to him, but this time Defendant 1 stated that if he caught him outside, he would ‘fucking kill him.’” the affidavit says. It quotes the victim as saying during this time Malki repeatedly called the victim a “fucking faggot.”

The affidavit, prepared by the arresting officers, says that after the officers arrested Malki and were leading him to a police transport vehicle to be booked for the arrest, he expressed an “excited utterance” that he was “in disbelief that officers sided with the ‘fucking faggot.’”

Court records show that Malki is scheduled to appear in court on June 4 for a status hearing for both the 2020 arrest and the arrest two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill the owner of the house in which police say he was illegally squatting.

Superior Court records show that Malki had been arrested three times between 2011 and 2015 in cases unrelated to the 2021 and 2020 cases for allegedly also making threats of violence against people. Two of the cases appear to be LGBTQ related, but prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not list the cases as hate crimes.

In the first of the three cases, filed in July 2011, Malki allegedly shoved a man inside Dupont Circle and threatened to kill him after asking the man why he was wearing a purple shirt.

“Victim 1 believes the assault occurred because Suspect 1 believes Victim 1 is a homosexual,” the police arrest affidavit says.

Court records show prosecutors charged Malki with simple assault and threats to do bodily harm in the case. But the court records show that on Sept. 13, 2011, D.C. Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Eilperin found Malki not guilty on both charges following a non-jury trial.

The online court records do not state why the judge rendered a not guilty verdict. With the courthouse currently closed to the public and the press due to COVID-related restrictions, the Washington Blade couldn’t immediately obtain the records to determine the judge’s reason for the verdict.

In the second case, court records show Malki was arrested by D.C. police outside the Townhouse Tavern bar and restaurant at 1637 R St., N.W. on Nov. 7, 2012 for allegedly threatening one or more people with a knife after employees ordered Malki to leave the establishment for “disorderly behavior.”

At the time, the Townhouse Tavern was located next door to the gay nightclub Cobalt, which before going out of business two years ago, was located at the corner of 17th and R Streets, N.W.

The police arrest affidavit in the case says Malki allegedly pointed a knife in a threatening way at two of the tavern’s employees who blocked his path when he attempted to re-enter the tavern. The affidavit says he was initially charged by D.C. police with assault with a dangerous weapon – knife. Court records, however, show that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office lowered the charges to two counts of simple assault. The records show that on Jan. 15, 2013, Malki pleaded guilty to the two charges as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

The records show that Judge Marissa Demeo on that same day issued a sentence of 30 days for each of the two charges but suspended all 30 days for both counts. She then sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for both charges and ordered that he undergo alcohol and drug testing and undergo treatment if appropriate.

In the third case prior to the 2020 and 2021 cases, court records show Malki was arrested outside the Cobalt gay nightclub on March 14, 2015 on multiple counts of simple assault, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon – knife, possession of a prohibited weapon – knife, and unlawful entry.

The arrest affidavit says an altercation started on the sidewalk outside the bar when for unknown reasons, Malki grabbed a female customer who was outside smoking and attempted to pull her toward him. When her female friend came to her aid, Malki allegedly got “aggressive” by threatening the woman and “removed what appeared to be a knife from an unknown location” and pointed it at the woman’s friend in a threatening way, the affidavit says.

It says a Cobalt employee minutes later ordered Malki to leave the area and he appeared to do so. But others noticed that he walked toward another entrance door to Cobalt and attempted to enter the establishment knowing he had been ordered not to return because of previous problems with his behavior, the affidavit says. When he attempted to push away another employee to force his way into Cobalt, Malki fell to the ground during a scuffle and other employees held him on the ground while someone else called D.C. police.

Court records show that similar to all of Malki’s arrests, a judge released him while awaiting trial and ordered him to stay away from Cobalt and all of those he was charged with threatening and assaulting.

The records show that on Sept. 18, 2015, Malki agreed to a plea bargain offer by prosecutors in which all except two of the charges – attempted possession of a prohibited weapon and simple assault – were dropped. Judge Alfred S. Irving Jr. on Oct. 2, 2015 sentenced Malki to 60 days of incarnation for each of the two charges but suspended all but five days, which he allowed Malki to serve on weekends, the court records show.

The judge ordered that the two five-day jail terms could be served concurrently, meaning just five days total would be served, according to court records. The records also show that Judge Irving sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for each of the two counts and ordered that he enter an alcohol treatment program and stay away from Cobalt.

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