From Cody Telep. Follow him on Twitter @codywt, email him at cody[AT]borderstan.com.
Note: The DC Police press release spelled the suspect’s last name as Carnejo-Pena, but court documents use the spelling Cornejo-Pena.
The DC Police Department (MPD) announced an arrest in a series of recent sexual assault incidents in the Borderstan area, mostly in Dupont. Oscar Mauricio Cornejo-Pena, 30, of Northwest Washington was arrested Thursday and arraigned in DC Superior Court Friday afternoon. He is charged with four misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances.
According to police, these four incidents all occurred in the first two weeks of August. Two women were assaulted in the 1200 block of Connecticut Avenue NW, just south of Dupont Circle. A third women was assaulted in the 1900 block of Q Street NW and the fourth incident occurred at the intersection of 16th Street NW and U Street NW.
In each incident, Cornejo-Pena allegedly approached the woman from behind while on a bicycle, fondled them, and then sped away. The incidents all occurred in daylight on crowded streets.
The Washington Post reported that the suspect told police he has committed as many as eight similar assaults in the last few months. In July, Liz Gorman’s post on the Collective Action for Safe Spaces website about being sexually assaulted in Dupont Circle received widespread media attention.
Although Cornejo-Pena was not charged in that incident, Gorman’s description that she was approached from behind by a man on a bicycle who reached under her skirt matches the reports of other victims. Detectives from MPD’s Sexual Assault Unit continue to investigate and additional charges could be pending.
At arraignment, Cornejo-Pena pled not guilty to the charges and was released to a halfway house. He was ordered to stay away from the victims and from the area from L Street NW to U Street NW between 14th and 21st Streets NW. His next court appearance will be August 31 at 9:30am.