October 4, 2016 at 12:58 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Suspect arrested in male-on-male sex assaults
Peter Newsham, gay news, Washington Blade, sexual assault

Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham announced a Maryland man has been charged in two sexual assault cases. (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

A 33-year-old Hyattsville, Md., man has been charged with sexually assaulting two men inside their Capitol Hill homes in separate incidents within two blocks of each other on Aug. 28 and Oct. 1, Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham announced on Monday.

At a news conference in front of police headquarters, Newsham said Brian Craig Webster has been charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault while armed, two counts of first-degree burglary while armed, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, and with carrying a pistol without a license.

According to Newsham and a police charging document, Webster allegedly committed the first offense after entering a house on the 1200 block of Massachusetts Avenue, S.E. about 6 a.m. on Aug. 28. The second incident occurred about 12:30 a.m. inside the victim’s house on the 1300 block of Independent Avenue, S.E.

In both cases, Newsham said, the suspect ordered the victims at gunpoint to take off their clothes and bound their hands and feet with duct tape. He said the suspect then sexually assaulted the victims.

An arrest affidavit for the second case that occurred on Oct. 1 says the suspect anally raped his victim but that the victim was able to break loose from his restraints and prevent the suspect, who had put the gun down on the victim’s bed, from retrieving the gun.

“Complainant 1 reported that he had also been working the duct tape loose and he used his legs to push the handgun up to his hands where he grabbed it,” the arrest affidavit says. “He reported that he broke the duct tape on his wrists and he and the defendant began to fight over the hand gun,” the affidavit says.

At that point, the victim reported he shouted for one of his roommates to help him after hearing that someone else had entered the house, according to the affidavit. He told police that the roommate immediately entered the bedroom where the sexual assault took place and helped him subdue the suspect.

“C1 reported that he got his cellular telephone and called 911 for assistance,” the affidavit says. “C1 reported he left his bedroom with the defendant’s handgun and met the police at the front door,” it says.

The victim and his roommate told police they had never seen the suspect prior to this incident.

Newsham said at the news conference that police would like to know if there are other male victims of the suspect. He urged anyone who may have been such a victim to come forward and report the offense to police.

Neither Newsham nor the arrest affidavit disclosed the sexual orientation of the suspect or the two victims. In response to a question from the Blade, Newsham said the department’s LGBT Liaison Unit was not involved in the case.

The arrest affidavit for the Oct. 1 incident says there were no signs of a forced entry into the victim’s home and the victim “is unsure if he locked the front door after he entered. As a result, it is believed that Suspect 1 entered through the unlocked front door.”

An earlier police news release said there were no signs of a forced entry at the home of the first incident on Aug. 28.

The affidavit says that after his arrest Webster was taken to Howard University Hospital for medical treatment of injuries he sustained in the altercation with the victim and the roommate.

Court records show a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered Webster held without bond at a court hearing late Monday afternoon. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 14 to determine whether probable cause exists to bring Webster to trial and whether he should be released or continue to be held while awaiting trial, the court records show.

NBC News 4 reported that Webster has worked as a counselor for the Southeast D.C. organization Community Connections, which helps residents dealing with mental illness, addiction and abuse.

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

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