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New trial set in robbery of Foggy Bottom vendor

Prosecutors told a D.C. Superior Court judge Friday they are ready to move forward with a new trial of a District man charged in the 2005 beating and robbery of an elderly Foggy Bottom street vendor.

In January, the D.C. Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of James A. Dorsey after finding Dorsey’s rights were violated by being handcuffed to his chair and subjected to 13 hours of interrogation and isolation. Dorsey denied any involvement in the attack and repeatedly told detectives that he did not want to talk and wanted an attorney before he ultimately confessed, the judges said.

Prosecutors said they have new DNA evidence that they hope to link to the defendant.

Dorsey, now 54, was charged with the May 3, 2005, attack on Vasiliki Fotopoulos, who was 83 at the time and was known as “Grandma” to other vendors and customers who frequented her stand, where she sold hats, umbrellas and other items outside the Foggy Bottom Metro station. Dorsey was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Judge Stuart G. Nash set the new trial for June 4.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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