14th Street Assault Case Moves Forward

Judge finds probable cause in case of two men accused of robbing, beating gay man in April

A D.C. Superior Court judge today found probable cause in the case of two men accused of beating and robbing a man in the 1300 block of 14th Street NW while yelling homophobic slurs, allowing government prosecutors to move forward with their case in the hope of obtaining an indictment that would allow them to go to trial.

Judge Frederick Sullivan determined there was probable cause to believe that Gustavo Velasquez, 24, and Ciriaco Oxlaj, 26, could be tried for robbery. According to charging documents, the two allegedly hit the victim and stole his iPad as they screamed anti-gay epithets at him during the early morning hours of April 25. The victim later identified Velasquez and Oxlaj as two of his three attackers. A third suspect was never identified.

Sullivan’s finding of probable cause means the case against the two can proceed, though their next court appearance will be contingent on when prosecutors can obtain a grand jury indictment on the robbery charge.

Sullivan allowed both suspects to remain released on personal recognizance, but placed specific conditions on their release. Both men must report weekly to the court’s Pretrial Services Agency (PSA), stay away from the victim and the area on 14th Street NW bounded by Rhode Island and Massachusetts Avenues.

Because Velasquez tested positive for cocaine at the time of his arrest, PSA representative Kris Smith recommended that Velasquez be placed into a sanction-based treatment program. Sullivan accepted the recommendation and ordered Velasquez to enroll in such a treatment program starting Friday, June 14.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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