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A New York man expecting a softball sentence in a sex crime plea deal is now accused of attempted rape, molestation and more against a string of new victims just days before his final court date.
Justin Washington, a 25-year-old Bronx man, was accused of first-degree rape in February and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of coercion in the second degree on Aug. 18, court records show. The original charge could have carried a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, but Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said prosecutors didn’t feel they had enough evidence for the original charge and reduced it to a third-degree rape offense, then offered the coercion plea for the deal, a class E felony.
Washington was freed on $12,000 bail in March, two days after his arrest, and had appeared at all of his court dates. A spokesperson for Bragg’s office said prosecutors were reevaluating the deal Friday.
The February victim was a teenage relative, reportedly angering investigators who learned of the plea deal for no prison time, according to the New York Post.
Last week, the NYPD accused him of forcing himself on a homeless woman, then pulling off her pants and attempting to rape her, according to the NYPD. A passerby thwarted the attack and the suspect fled.
On the same day, he allegedly groped an 18-year-old male, exposed himself to a 26-year-old woman, and reached into a woman’s bathroom to steal her underwear, according to the Post.
Police said they arrested Washington on Sept. 17 on new charges of attempted rape, burglary, attempted burglary, sex abuse, forcible touching, assault and lewdness.
He was expected to return to court again on Sept. 21 and receive a sentence of 30 days in jail and five years of probation for the coercion charge.
The court scheduled Washington’s new sentencing hearing for Sept. 28.
“Our experienced sex crimes prosecutors conducted a thorough investigation and were in regular contact with the survivor’s family throughout this case,” Emily Tuttle, a spokesperson for Bragg’s office, said Friday. “Based on the evidence, we determined that this was an appropriate plea to spare the young survivor from having to testify, while holding Washington accountable for his conduct. As the investigation into this week’s extremely disturbing allegations in the Bronx continues, we will determine whether to ask for a lengthier jail sentence.”