- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Bladensburg man who attacked, robbed and sexually assaulted women he met through Craigslist “erotic services” ads was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison in connection with four armed attacks, prosecutors said.

Edgar D. Romero pleaded guilty to four armed attacks that occurred in the District between December 2008 and February 2009, though in court documents prosecutors said they have identified a total of seven women victimized by him. His 30-year prison sentence stems from his pleas to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree burglary, and robbery while armed, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District.

In each of the four incidents he pleaded guilty to, Romero arranged to meet the women at hotels around the District and at some point during the encounter threatened the women with either a knife or a gun.

Romero’s defense attorney could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

In one encounter, Romero arranged to meet a woman at the Churchill Hotel in Northwest and no sooner had she entered the hotel room than he hit her and threatened her with a knife, according to a sentencing memorandum filed in D.C. Superior Court. He bound her ankles and wrists with electrical wires and forced her to give him oral sex. Another man who accompanied Romero then raped the woman. The two took her credit cards and cash and threatened to kill her if she did not give them the correct personal identification number for her bank cards.

“He specifically targeted women involved in prostitution,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharon Marcus-Kurn wrote in a prosecutor’s sentencing memo. “He targeted this population because they would have money and other items of value on them and because they were involved in illegal activity they would be less likely to report his crimes.”

In an attack at the Georgetown Suites in Northwest, Romero held a woman at gunpoint after they had met in a hotel room. Romero and another man duct taped the woman’s hands, ankles and mouth as they rummaged through the hotel room. When she tried to see what they were doing, Romero threatened to shoot her, the court documents state.

The men left with the woman’s identification cards and other items, telling her to “watch out” because they’d see her again soon. Out of fear, the woman did not report the incident to police. After he was taken into custody, she identified him, court documents state.

In the additional two cases, Romero tied up women at gun point in hotel rooms and stole money and other items from them.

Prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo that at least three other women have identified Romero as an attacker under similar circumstances as those described in the cases to which he pleaded guilty.

“The government knows of seven victims that the defendant terrorized in a mere seven months,” Ms. Marcus-Kurn wrote in the sentencing memo. “The number of unidentified victims is probably substantially larger.”

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