The man behind two sexual attacks just north of DuPont Circle was sentenced to 11 years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, Jr. announced today.
Brandon Petty, 26, used adult services ads on Craigslist to orchestrate each of the meetings in Northwest Washington, one at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, at the corner of T Street and Connecticut Avenue, and one across the street, at the Hilton Washington Hotel, according to prosecutors. He used the same technique on each woman: he grabbed her hair, put a knife to her neck, and demanded money and oral sex. His attempt at the Marriott was interrupted by the woman's friend, but the attack at the Hilton was successful.
Petty agreed to the plea agreement that called for the maximum sentence allowable, 153 months, after authorities linked him to the two attacks, on Sept. 8, 2009, and April 21, respectively, and a third on April 2.
All three met with Petty through advertisements they placed on the District of Columbia Craigslist website.
Law enforcement officials began complaining earlier this month that Craigslist was not properly monitoring and removing adult services advertising prostitution and child sex trafficking.
Craigslist bowed to the pressure and announced at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on child sex trafficking Sept. 15 that it would remove all adult services ads from its site. The link, which Craigslist first redacted and replaced with the word "censored," is now permanently missing from its home page.
But William "Clint" Miller, director of customer service and law enforcement relations at Craigslist, has argued that those ads will simply move elsewhere on the site.
Federal prosecutors said in court papers that prior to this case, Petty was sentenced to five years of jail in May 2004 for distributing heroin, carrying a pistol without a license, possession of a firearm during the commission of dangerous crime, possession of an unregistered firearm and contempt, as well as a separate offense of attempted distribution of PCP. He was released in both cases on Dec. 18, 2007.