A Southeast Washington man was sentenced in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting two young girls after the judge two weeks ago discounted a statement by one of the girls recanting her story that she had been attacked.
Judge Donald S. Smith told Warren C. Wilson, 32, that his crimes "cannot be tolerated in an orderly society because of the severe ramifications that this type of offense has on young children."
Wilson maintained his innocence yesterday and through his lawyer accused law enforcement officials of failing to investigate the girl's subsequent statement that another man was responsible for the assaults.
Wilson, of 302 Atlantic St. SE, was arrested in November 1983 after the 10-year-old's mother took her to a doctor after overhearing the girl talking to herself about Wilson sexually assualting her.
He was convicted last October of three counts of having carnal knowledge of the 10-year-old and four counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. Wilson also was convicted of one count of taking indecent liberties with an 11-year-old girl.
The 11-year-old, who is a cousin of the 10-year-old, did not recant her testimony against Wilson.
Prosecutor Michael L. Rankin, an assistant U.S. attorney, did not respond to Wilson's charges in court, but he noted that Wilson had tried to influence the 10-year-old to change her testimony by sending her letters and birthday cards.
Rankin said there had been a full hearing two weeks ago on the girl's later statements and that Judge Smith had found the "recantation to be as incredible as we found it to be."
One week after the trial, the girl wrote to Wilson's lawyer to say she had lied about the assaults. Another man, "Bernard," was responsible for the assaults, the girl wrote, adding that she was not going "to tell where he is or if he still live around here."
"I am sorry for all the trouble and lies I caused," the girl wrote on a piece of binder paper headed "Reason Lieing."
"Warren did not do anything to me," she wrote.
"I hope I will not get in any trouble because I am rilling sic sorry so please let Warren go so he can home."
A hearing was held last month on a motion for a new trial in light of the girl's letter, but the girl, represented by a lawyer, refused to answer questions about whether her trial testimony or her recantation was true.
Rankin maintained during that hearing that the girl had recanted the testimony because of her "mother's hostility towards her."
As proof of Wilson's involvement, Rankin pointed to the testimony of the girl's fifth grade teacher who said the girl had told her about the assaults.
Judge Smith agreed with the prosecution that the girl's testimony during the trial was correct and denied Wilson's request for a new trial.
Rankin said yesterday that Wilson had shown no remorse for his assaults on the two girls, urging the judge to give Wilson a "term of substantial incarceration."
Wilson will be eligible for parole in five years.