A former D.C. parole board member was charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl at knife-point at a downtown Washington hotel, authorities said yesterday.
Marcelino Cruces Avila, 47, appeared yesterday in D.C. Superior Court on a charge of first-degree sexual abuse while armed and was denied bond pending a preliminary hearing Monday. Cruces Avila, of Washington, served on the parole board from 1996 to 1998 and was appointed by then-Mayor Marion Barry, the U.S. attorney's office said.
According to a court document, the 14-year-old student from Massachusetts was staying with fellow classmates at the Center City Hotel at 1201 13th St. NW. About 12:50 a.m. Thursday, Cruces Avila knocked on her hotel room door and said he had an urgent message for her, the document alleged.
The student followed him to a vacant room, where he produced a knife and forced her to perform oral sex, authorities alleged. When Cruces Avila reached into his knapsack, the student fled the room.
She immediately reported the incident to classmates and a chaperone and contacted police, the document said. Later that day, she identified Cruces Avila when police showed her nine color photos of individuals.
Before his arrest Thursday, Cruces Avila insisted that the student voluntarily submitted to sex, the court document said. If convicted, Cruces Avila could get up to life in prison.