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Guilty plea for woman's attacker caught by 'heroic' D.C. neighbors

A District teen who was subdued by community members after he assaulted a young female graduate student in January pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual abuse on April 30, authorities said.

According to prosecutors, the woman was walking back to her Northeast Washington apartment around 7 p.m. on Jan. 20. She had just moved in the week before. Without warning, she felt someone grab her neck.

The woman struggled to get away and both she and her assailant fell to the ground on the wooden walkway next to her building, authorities said. The woman broke free, but the attacker grabbed her foot, knocking her to the ground.

The woman escaped again, running into her building, according to authorities. But the man followed her, tackled her in the foyer and began to assault her.

Three different neighbors heard the commotion and went to see what was going on. They saw Joshua Wafer, 17, on the woman's back with a hand over her mouth.

The Post generally does not name juveniles charged with crimes unless they are tried as adults, which Wafer was.

One of the neighbors told her teenage son to chase the defendant, and he and another man gave chase. They caught Wafer in the 300 block of Taylor Street NE, bringing him back to the apartment building where they kept him until police arrived.

In announcing the guilty plea, D.C. U.S. Attorney Ron Machen called the intervention of the neighbors "heroic."

Wafer is scheduled to be sentenced on June 25. He faces up to three years in prison.

-- Theola Labbé-DeBose

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  May 7, 2010; 9:17 AM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Heroes , Sex Crimes , The District , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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Comments

Nice work!

Posted by: steampunk | May 7, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

ONLY 3 YEARS?!!!!!!!! If he gets out early on good behavior, he will assault again. Sounds like a dangerous critter who needs more than 3 years plus GPS monitoring afterwards.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | May 7, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Yes, only 3 years OH Hell No he need about 10 to 15 years at 17 years old he will be 21 0r 22 years old back on the street with this same behavior. Want is really going on here....

Posted by: dcynnep | May 7, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Yes, only 3 years OH Hell No he need about 10 to 15 years at 17 years old he will be 21 0r 22 years old back on the street with this same behavior. Want is really going on here....

Posted by: dcynnep | May 7, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Yes, only 3 years OH Hell No he need about 10 to 15 years at 17 years old he will be 21 0r 22 years old back on the street with this same behavior. Want is really going on here....

Posted by: dcynnep | May 7, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes, only 3 years OH Hell No he need about 10 to 15 years at 17 years old he will be 21 0r 22 years old back on the street with this same behavior. Want is really going on here....

Posted by: dcynnep | May 7, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I might have killed him with my hands if I was there myself and would've went to sleep that night knowing I got an animal off the streets. He's lucky this wasn't me or any of my friends, because he would've been dead.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | May 7, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

publicenemy1 i agree with you, i think animals like this should be executed, but you'd almost certainly be the one viewed as the "criminal" if you did it. However, if I were on the jury and you said you were temporarily insane when you removed pondscum from the earth i'd vote not guilty. courts are waaay too lenient on sex offenders. and they usually keep doing it, and it usally escalates to the point where they kill people. I will agree with you, if I were a cop, I don't know how I could restrain myself from shooting a lot of these animals. can't control your animal instincts, you don't belong in society with the rest of us. kudos to those who chased this scumbucket down.

Posted by: red2million | May 7, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

3 years? ALL sex crimes should be a life sentence. Sex criminals can not be rehabilitated and will strike again. Next time drag him under a moving bus. PublicEnemy has it right. The woman could have been your mother, sister, daughter, niece, etc.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 7, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

But we shouldn't say "animals" - that's unfair to real animals. "Sub-human" or "Defective humans" might be better terms to use.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | May 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

While I agree this is a degenerate scumbag, I am surprised by the viciousness of the people here. You are also rather sick people, and I bet many of you call yourselves Christians. Life in prison? Death? The punishment should fit the crime. 3-5 years should teach him a lesson.

Unfortunately, our prison system is so f-ed up that many come out worse than when they went in. I say we need a complete revamping of our prisons with a focus on rehabilitation and elimination of prisoner-to-prisoner violence somehow.

Posted by: rgfox555 | May 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I agree, yes he did a terrible thing but everyone is talking like he is not human and I am sure most of you do claim to be christian. Also not all sex crimes are the same.

Posted by: citizen31 | May 7, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

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