A registered sex offender was charged Thursday in connection with the attempted rape of two women assaulted within hours of one another in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood in December.
Keith E. Washington, 39, of Minneapolis, was indicted by a Hennepin County grand jury on four counts of first-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct, along with nine other lesser counts of criminal sexual conduct, aggravated robbery, assault and kidnapping, according to the county attorney’s office.
Also Thursday, prosecutors filed additional criminal charges against Washington related to a third incident. Those rape charges stem from an attack last July on his ex-girlfriend, who told police that Washington forced her into a bedroom during a fight and choked her to unconsciousness. When she came to, he beat her and later raped her, according to court documents.
Washington is registered with the state as a Level 3 sex offender, meaning that he’s considered among those most likely to commit another sex offense. If convicted, he will serve a mandatory life sentence, as he is a repeat offender.
The Uptown attacks took place Dec. 6. After two witnesses called 911, police found a 28-year-old victim lying unconscious in a front yard, her neck bruised. The woman said she’d been visiting bars with her sister when she went outside to call for a ride home. Washington followed her for a few blocks, according to charges, then tackled her, choking her until she blacked out.
Police found Washington a short time later covered in dirt, carrying the victim’s cellphone and ID card. He also had a cellphone, ID card and bag of groceries taken a few hours earlier from another sexual assault victim. That woman, a 26-year-old, was attacked in an alley less than half a mile away. She had also been choked before the sex assault.