The first time the 14-year-old girl met Quincy L. Alexander, outside Lake Braddock Secondary School in Fairfax County, he told her, "I want you to be a Hoover Crip" -- one of the most notorious street gangs in Los Angeles.
The second time she met Alexander, he put it another way: He focused a red laser light on her stomach, from the sight of a gun.
"Basically, he forced me to get in his gang," she said. Soon after that, police allege, Alexander had sex with the girl, a "sex-in," which made her a full-fledged Crips member.
Yesterday, Alexander, 22, was sentenced in Fairfax Circuit Court to three years in prison for recruiting minors into a gang. The maximum possible sentence was five years, which Circuit Court Judge R. Terrence Ney imposed. But Fairfax prosecutors recommended that two years of the term be suspended, and Ney agreed.
In the back of the courtroom, the teenage victim wept throughout the hearing. Afterward, her shoulders shook as she pondered her future. Her family has moved once and probably will have to move again, her godmother said.
"He's going to come after me when he gets out," the girl said. "Three years is not enough."
Shortly after police arrested Alexander in January, they held a news conference to warn residents about the gang-related case near the Burke school.
A search warrant affidavit revealed that Alexander had admitted to police that he was the leader of the Hoover Crips locally, and that he had been sent to Fairfax to establish a Northern Virginia "set" or branch.
Police said that the Hoover Crips boast about 600 members in California, responsible for crimes from car theft to murder, and that it had established roots in other cities. Alexander told police he was initiated into the gang in St. Louis when he was 8.
Alexander told Ney yesterday that he planned to disassociate himself from gangs. And after his sentencing, his attorney, Thomas B. Haddock, said Alexander "is denying he was starting a Crip satellite office. . . . He's not a member of the Crips."
The victim was incredulous. "He is a member," she said. "He had tattoos on his arms. He was recruiting kids to be in his gang. He wanted to be known as the big gangster, to have everybody fear him."
The girl's godmother, who works for a social service agency in the Latino community, said the case is not unusual. "This is the typical manner that they recruit younger kids," the godmother said. "They're recruiting children in the second, third and fourth grades of Fairfax County. The system fails our children and their futures when they let them go with three years and a slap on the wrist."
The names of the girl and her godmother are being withheld by The Washington Post because she is a juvenile sex-crime victim.
A security officer at Lake Braddock spotted Alexander loitering near the school with another student, a 15-year-old, on Oct. 31. Police were called and found a loaded gun in Alexander's car. He was charged with possession of a firearm on school property, a charge that was dropped as part of a plea agreement.
After the alleged "sex-in" with the girl in December, at Alexander's residence on Bonnie Bern Court in Burke, Alexander told her she was now "set queen."
The girl said yesterday, "He did the same thing with other kids, but they won't come forward," she said. She estimated the Hoover set has 35 members locally, and it still exists despite Alexander's arrest.
Haddock told the judge that Alexander denies the sex-in with the girl ever occurred. But the attorney said gang detectives planned to testify about "more sundry accusations of recruitment," and so Alexander entered an Alford plea in April. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but admits the prosecution has enough evidence to win a conviction.
Prosecutors said Alexander has been arrested regularly since he was 12, and Haddock said his client was "tired of being in jail and . . . this type of lifestyle." He said Alexander's mother, fiancee and friend came to support him, and Alexander apologized to the victim's family.
"All leaders have a following," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Solette Magnelli replied. "Not all leaders are good leaders."
The victim asked: "How can he be such a good man when he did so many things to kids? People who are 12, 14, 15 years old?"