- The Washington Times - Monday, September 20, 2004

A 14-year-old Southeast boy yesterday was formally charged with sexual assault and the beating death of his 4-year-old sister.

The boy, whose name is being withheld because he is a juvenile, was arrested Saturday night in connection with the death of Angel Fleming. Police say he initially told them that Angel had fallen down a flight of stairs. According to news reports, he later admitted to police that he had beaten her.

The boy is being charged as a juvenile in the case. If convicted, the teenager could be confined for seven years, until he is 21.

The boy appeared at a closed-door hearing at the D.C. Family Court yesterday.

Family Court barred the public from attending the hearing after the boy’s attorneys argued that news reports about the case unjustly identified the boy and his relatives, a move that could interfere with his case.

“The court believes that the release of information from the juvenile proceeding could negatively impact on the rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system with respect to this respondent,” said Judge Lee F. Satterfield.

D.C. police said Angel was taken from her grandmother’s home in the 1100 block of Chicago Street SE to the Children’s Hospital at about midnight Sept. 14.

Angel was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m. last Thursday. The D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office on Friday ruled that the cause of death was “multiple trauma and manner of death, a homicide.”

After a police investigation, the 14-year-old brother was arrested at 11:40 p.m. Saturday and charged with first-degree child sexual abuse and felony murder.

According to previous news reports, police said Angel was beaten between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Sept. 14 in the grandmother’s two-story row house, where the girl’s 8-year-old brother and 5-year-old sister also live.

The 14-year-old initially told the grandmother and police that Angel had fallen down the stairs, which caused her to vomit and have trouble breathing. After Angel died, the 14-year-old later admitted to police that he repeatedly hit and sexually assaulted his little sister, according to news reports.

The grandmother, Viola Robinson, did not answer telephone calls seeking comment yesterday.

Most neighbors on Chicago Street SE said they were vaguely acquainted with Angel and her siblings.

“I didn’t know any of this,” said neighbor Frances E. Battle. “I didn’t know what happened until yesterday at church.”

“I didn’t know [Angel],” said Glovenia Harrison, who lives nearby, but added that the teen “seemed like a very nice boy.”

The two brothers had lived with their grandmother most of their lives, but the sisters moved into the house a few weeks ago, according to previous reports. D.C. social services workers had placed the other children in foster care last Wednesday.

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