Washington Pleads Guilty to Serial Rapes

Nathan Washington has pleaded guilty to four of the serial rapes, NBC 29 reports. Prosecutors have agreed to charge him in only four of the seven cases in exchange for his guilty plea. With the deal comes a recommendation for a life sentence on each charge. It was just four months ago that Washington was arrested. Washington is a husband and father of three, and lived in Woodbrook and worked as a Daily Progress deliverman and Harris Teeter meat cutter until his arrest. There’s no word on when sentencing will take place. Suffice it to say, he’s never getting out of prison.

9:15pm Update: Lisa Provence reports for The Hook on how Washington was caught, something that many of us have been wondering. It turns out that one of his victims spotted him in the parking lot of the UVa Aquatics and Fitness Center, the same place where he’d attacked her in 2002. She’d also seen him at Harris Teeter. So she wrote down the plate number and called the cops. They put him on surveillance, and a detective grabbed a disposable cup that he’d thrown away after drinking from. The DNA results came back quickly, showing it was a perfect match to every attack, and they arrested him three days later. That’s some clever, efficient work on the part of both police and the alert victim.

62 thoughts on “Washington Pleads Guilty to Serial Rapes”

  1. I wonder if there will be enough evidence to try him for rapes in the city of Charlottesville–specifically the rape that occurred in the house on Belmont Park in which DNA evidence collected at the time could neither confirm nor rule out that the serial rapist was involved.

  2. I believe this was a joint plea deal. As I understand it he won’t be charged for any of the additional rapes.

  3. Trust me when I say that I’m no Legal Eagle. Thus, I’m a bit confused as to why he would plead guilty in exchange for a life term. Don’t get me wrong (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T GET ME WRONG), I’m completely pleased that this deal has been reached and that the serial rapist has been caught and will be behind bars for the rest of his life.

    But, seeing as how these charges didn’t bring the death penalty, the worst he would have gotten by going through a trial would be a life sentence. So why plea for the same thing? Usually, defendants plea for a lesser sentence.

    So, it makes me wonder if he did it to save the victims (and others) from a trial? Is he suddenly discovering what it’s like to be human and not a monster?

    It’s just all so intriguing to me. Of course, there may be a legal reason that I just don’t know about.

  4. I still want to know why some of the witness descriptions of the suspect don’t match Nathan Washington. The suspect was described several times as having big white eyes that seemed to bulge out. He looks very little like the drawings distributed during the serial rape investigations in my opinion. And what’s even more disturbing is that none of these drawings can be found on the Internet anywhere now. At least I can’t find any of them now. I’m not debating whether he’s guilty or not. That’s between him and the judge. But I guess it once again proves how reliable eye witness identification really is. And more importantly, I guess the arrest and conviction also exonerates all the yound black men in the community that were forced to submit DNA samples to the Charlottesville police chief too. How soon we forget how people’s rights are trampled upon, eh?

  5. TheCowSaysMoo, I’m no legal expert either, but my guess is that he figured (or his lawyer figured) that since they had DNA evidence against him, there was no way he’d be found not guilty, and he thought four life sentences was somehow better than seven. Also, there’s always the hope that the judge will decide to give him less than the recommended life sentence, though I don’t see that happening.

    I have no idea how he feels about the victims going through the trial, but I’d like to think he at least thought about his wife and kids and wanted them to avoid a traumatic trial and media coverage that’d come with it.

  6. Neither am I a legal expert (that seems to be the going theme here), but I wonder if seeming like he feels responsible and remorseful for his crimes will make a difference at a parole hearing many years down the road? Or will it get him a swankier prison assignment?

  7. I like Meg’s wife-and-kids theory. Avoiding a trial is better for everybody — he’s got to know that — and whether he gets four life sentences or seven, it’s all the same. So why not take the deal and be done with it all?

  8. It looks like he’s being sentenced for two of the four rapes that he is currently charged with. However, the last line of the NBC story says,

    [quote]Washington has also agreed to cooperate with police on other attacks that may be unsolved or have not been reported.[/quote]

    Remember, he wasn’t officially charged with all the rapes linked to the serial rapist, just four that happened in Albemarle County, so he is still likely facing being charged for the first rape in Waynesboro, and some rapes in the city, plus the Belmont Park rape I mentioned above, and he may even turn out to be the guy who was in the Belmont house of a woman who successfully fought him off.

    It sure would be nice to have a tidy wrap up of all these cases.

  9. A plea agreement with 4 life terms and no chance of parole to me seems that his lawyer was not doing their job. He could have easily have gotten this sentence with no lawyer and representing himself. He/lawyer should have argued for at least the possibility of parole after say 20 years, and that would put him at around 60 years of age. May not have gotten it, but at least it would have been worth a try.
    A life sentence without the possibility of parole will make this guy very unmanageable in prison I suspect, but with the possibility of parole the prison officials have at least something to work with. Without hope life is not worth living.

  10. It’s finally over…that’s great! You know, after slamming the CPD for recent incidents, I want to say “way to go” for some savvy police work. The doggedness and attention to detail made an “airtight” case. This guy can “pretend” that he plead guilty to assuage the victims, but the fact is…he had no where else to go. So being the coward that he is, he went down the road where “he” wouldn’t have to face the victims. BTW, I didn’t see anything in that DP article that mentioned how he “beat the crap” out of these women. Let’s not forget that. Thank you.

  11. P.S. – Too bad for him Johnny Cochran passed away, ’cause “If it ain’t your spit, you must acquit!”

  12. “I still want to know why some of the witness descriptions of the suspect don’t match Nathan Washington. The suspect was described several times as having big white eyes that seemed to bulge out. He looks very little like the drawings distributed during the serial rape investigations in my opinion. ”

    Because, in general, nothing is more unscientific and unreliable than witness descriptions.

    My congratulations to CPD for excellent police work

  13. Over & Out, once again, this case was not solved by the police. The police had been dumbfounded and scratching their heads for 10 years. A young lady who had been assaulted by Washington recognized him, reported his license plate number, and the police then started watching Washington. While watching him they covertly obtained a DNA sample off a soda cup Washington drank from in a public restaurant. Had this lady not reported her suspicions about Washington he would still be out there raping women most likely. It’s not real hard to make a case when a victim identifies exactly who had assualted her. A rookie still in field training could have sewn up the loose ends in a case like this. So let’s not forget to thank this young woman who finally brought this case to a successful conclusion.

  14. My congratulations to CPD for excellent police work

    Uh no. Congrats to the woman who stepped up and identified him. Wasn’t too hard for the cops to hop right on it after he was handed to them on a silver platter. If she hadn’t recognized him, he’d still be free.

    Hope she gets the reward. What a brave lady.

  15. Most cases are solved by citizens stepping forward with tips and hunches. The murder in November was solved quickly with tips from the public and family for example. Police departments simply have the pleasure of making the press release and taking credit for the arrests.

  16. From The Hook article:

    The woman noticed a car in the parking lot of the UVA Aquatics and Fitness Center where she worked, and the driver reminded her of the man who had fondled her buttocks there on November 12, 2002

    That’s one hell of a memory on her part!

    I wonder when detectives made the connection between the fondling at the AFC and the rapes. I’m not sure I would have made the connection.

    Regardless, I think the witness and the CPD get kudos on this one.

  17. Jeannine, today’s Daily Progress explains the question you just asked. The police didn’t make the connection, the victim did. Washington had done MORE than just fondle her buttocks:

    Daily Progress — “Two years before she was attacked in her Webland Drive home, the serial rapist’s most recent known victim had been fondled near her work at the University of Virginia.

    At the time, she reported the incident to UVa police and gave them a license plate number of a Mitsubishi Galant she believed the man was driving. That information would later play a crucial role in unmasking the serial rapist.

    After she was attacked in her home on Aug. 18, 2004, the woman saw Washington at the Harris Teeter grocery store, where he worked at the deli. He acted strangely toward her, authorities said.”

  18. What’s really stunning is the fact he fondled her in 2002, attacked her in 2004, and it was 2007 before he even became a suspect and was arrested??? If he was suspected before 2007, why didn’t the police follow him and covertly get a DNA sample much earlier?

  19. It would be nice of you that were bitching about the low pay for the police a few weeks ago would quit bitching about how terrible they are at what they do.

  20. Hey Lulu, they have an annual Awards Banquet every year and pat each other on the back. Pick up about 6 dozen donuts and attend the next banquet, show your appreciation if you feel so strongly about it.

  21. Tis not about appreciation… it’s a disconnect between those who complain about the low pay of cops, then turn right around and say they are dumfounded and bumbling.

    If the Keystone Cops are operating in Charlottesville, why would people want to see them given a pay raise?

  22. Regardless of how you feel about cop pay, Demopublican raises a good point. According to the Progress article, the victim got a license plate number sometime around 2002 and gave it to the UVA police. The police traced the number back to his wife. Did they investigate further? If not, why?

  23. Lulu. let there be no mistake — you will never see me claim the police deserve a raise. And if and when they do get a raise, it should be no larger a percentage than all other city employees get at the same time. I have watched the “favorites” and “family members” in law enforcement get raises while other employees doing a better job are often overlooked. Promotions and merit raises are often handed out according to who you are, not your ability and performance.

  24. “the victim got a license plate number sometime around 2002 and gave it to the UVA police”.

    Therein is the problem. UVA police. Sat on it, threw it away, blew it off. UVA’s finest at work.

  25. Are the facts in the correct order:
    1) she was attacked in her home,
    2) she was fondled and identified the car of the fondler as beglonging to the rapist’s wife, and,
    3) she called the rapist at work and he responded to her strangely?

  26. Yes, but the UVA cops are really great at hiding in the parking lot on Buckler Drive and waiting for some hapless person to not come to a complete, full, dead-on, wheels not rolling at all STOP at the 3-way stop, and then writing them up a ticket. They’re wonderful about that.

  27. CVille Eye, the Daily Progress lists the correct order I assume. I don’t think the victim ever called Washington at work, not sure where you read this? From what I have read, nothing was done with the “fondler’s” license plate number from 2002 to 2007.


    2002 – Washington fondled her buttocks.

    2002 – She reported the incident to UVa police and gave them a license plate number of a Mitsubishi Galant she believed the man was driving. It came back registered to Washington’s wife, but when did the police run the license plate, in 2002 or 2007?

    2004 – Washington attacked the woman in her home.

    2004 – After she was attacked in her home, the woman saw Washington at the Harris Teeter grocery store, where he worked at the deli. He acted strangely toward her, authorities said.

    2007 – The woman brought her concerns to an investigator at the University of Virginia Police Department.

    Police now decide to follow Washington and covertly obtain a DNA sample – the soda cup from Burger King.

  28. I usually don’t either, CVille Eye. Especially any pre-trial reporting. But I guess their reporter was sitting in the courtroom during this case and got it all right.

  29. When Barney Fife ran that plate in 2002 and it came back to a female, they figured it was a dead end, because the rapist was a male….I am sure nobody will be held accountable for that screw up, in fact who ever dropped the ball on that one has most likely been promoted by now. The state police should have taken over this investigation and any other serious offense that occurs in this area, these dumbasses around here couldn’t find a boil on their behinds…They need to stick to DUI’s and speeding tickets. A rookie in field training could have closed this case in 2002 if they had followed the lead. Trust me I know from experience.

  30. “When Barney Fife ran that plate in 2002 and it came back to a female, they figured it was a dead end, because the rapist was a male…….”

    Sounds like you have been around a while too, Old School. That was my original thought, but it would have been libel to say such without my having proof of it. And I suspect you’re right about the promotion too.

  31. Isn’t hindsight wonderful? Gurus, tell us how the rapist was able to rape in disparate neighborhoods and not get caught.

  32. I guess you really think there’s something to this Neighborhood Watch stuff? Half the people don’t care what’s going on around them as long as it doesn’t affect them, and the other half is too busy to notice. Plus…. Neighborhood Watch as we know it was just something a slick fellow used to become quite well known in the public eye a while back. Ya know, kinda like name recognition as he prepared to move on to bigger and better things in Charlottesville. Can you even guess who used this trick?

  33. There have been several that launched a political career through neibhorhood work, that is true.

  34. The sad part about it is the fact that the sheepel in Charlottesville and Albemarle County not only fall for it, they eat it up while being laughed at by the racketeers manipulating them.

  35. Speaking of neighborhood associations, groups, etc. What does this “Quality Community Council” do for neighborhood folks? Or anyone for that matter? What are they all about?

  36. Never heard of it. And it’s certainly not very easy to find on the city web page, because I couldn’t find it. I used to live in a quality community. But over the last 7 to 10 years the criminal thugs have pretty much taken over and do as they please every night. Breaking into cars, stealing anything that isn’t nailed down, random home invasions and assaults on elderly people, the murder of a young girl last month, etc… And I am afraid it’s going to get worse before it ever gets better.

  37. I haven’t gotten any mailings from the Quality Community Council in quite a while and had wondered if it had disbanded. From my understanding, it used to be run by Karen Waters–who ran for school board two terms ago–and its purpose was to help lower income kids, such as providing them with scholarships for field trips and activities that are otherwise too expensive. I’m not sure what else the group did.

  38. QCC is still alive and kicking, Karen is still running it. They do alot of good work for the community.

  39. But over the last 7 to 10 years the criminal thugs have pretty much taken over and do as they please every night. Breaking into cars, stealing anything that isn’t nailed down, random home invasions and assaults on elderly people, the murder of a young girl last month, etc…

    I haven’t seen any statistics that indicate a significant increase in crime in the area in the past 7-10 years. A quick review of crime stats shows nothing of the sort. Is this just your impression based on media coverage, or do you have some data that demonstrate an increase?

  40. QCC was orginially given $400k ovea three-year period to organize the residents of the central city neighborhoods to come up with a written plan to improve those neighborhoods, detail the implementation of this plan and evaluate its effectiveness. It was spearheaded by a complaint by two people who attended a council meeting to complain about the violent crime in those neigbhorhoods, particularly Orangedale. To date, no plan has been submitted and no accountability was given for the disbursement of those funds. Never did Council discuss providing “scholarships” for low-income children for activities. Council provides enough of those funds through its Healthy Community allocations each year from its budget. That’s a lot of money for a lot of free play activities. QCC just received $18,000 this fall to install 3 or 6 rain barrels at the urban garden, although I suspect the money actually went into somebody’s pocket to pay his mortgage. We will never know, because there is no accountability. I believe I’ve noticed that QCC’s website and mission have changed recently. You can check it out if you wish at http://cvilleqcc.com/default.aspx . Very nice looking.

  41. Waldo, most of the simple crime in my neighborhood isn’t even reported anymore. You discover a car broken into, you call the police, they respond and take a report. You hear nothing after that. Thieves have cleaned out several sheds in my neighborhood just this summer. The residents didn’t even report it, they know it’s a waste of time. My next door neighbor had a brand new stereo stolen out of his vehicle while it was parked right in front of his house. The suspects were eyeballed as they were leaving the scene of the crime, but reporting it did no good at all. Even though the license plate number was given to the police as the suspect vehicle, it being the same license plate number that’s on an employee’s car at the at the stereo installation shop. Kinda obvious they installed the stereo at 2 p.m. and came to his house and stole it at midnight. Look at the home invasion on Park Street a few months ago. While this will certainly be included in the crime statistics, it’s still an unsolved crime. Three years from now we can look back and discuss whether it was ever solved or not. We won’t have to discuss the murder though, rumor is family members rolled over on them and solved that crime. Having just looked at the daily crime report for Dec 10, 2007, it includes a shoplifting on Hydraulic Road, a theft from a building on East Main Street, a larceny on Locust Avenue, and a theft from a motor vehicle on Gordon Avenue. While 4 thefts were reported, I would be willing to bet 20 thefts took place in that 24 hour period. People are simply tired of wasting their time waiting for the police and reporting stuff like this.

  42. If these crimes are not reported, then Council will develop a false sense of security and reduce the police force.

  43. I doubt we’ll see a layoff in the police department. If they determine they have more help than they need, they can always create another specialized unit of some type.

  44. Let’s see here…Demopublican at once derides the police at every turn, yet wants them to solve even the most unsolvable of crimes. Certainly seems that you place them in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation. Typical mentality today of too many “citizens”.

  45. The reduction in police staff would come through attrition, not layoffs. Two or three years ago the number of police officers funded by the City’s budget was reduced by four. That meant that those positions could not be advertised or filled. Now, we’re about eight short, although the funding has been restored.

  46. Now that there is a man in custody for the reign of terror I’d like to hear the Belmont lady who fought him off acknowledge that this IS INFACT THE GUY. She spoke infront of a Belmont neighborhood gathering after the attack so perhaps she could again speak out. I’m troubled that this guy does not at all resemble the man we were told to keep an eye out for……

  47. Maybe Demopublican wants the police to spend time going after real crime, instead of ticketing railroad crossers and pedestrians so unfortunate as to get run over.
    Maybe they can’t solve all of the crimes like car break-ins, but I have to think we could do better.
    For some time we have been plagued by a lowlife hoodlum element that seems to think it owns the town. Its not all the Police Dept’s fault. City Council shares the blame for some of its bleedingheart liberal handling of the anti-social element,like rationalizing the attacks by gangs of youth on UVa students a few years ago.

  48. Keypunch, that is what I’m dying to know as well. Also, if the Belmont Park rape was committed by the same guy who broke into the other Belmont woman’s house and if these two crimes were both done by Washington.

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