May 30, 2024

Serial Rapist Convicted by Jury for 2010 Home Invasion Sexual Assault of Woman in Northwest D.C.

Serial Rapist Convicted by Jury for 2010 Home Invasion Sexual Assault of Woman in Northwest D.C.

Defendant Had Been Convicted in Previous Sexual Assaults in D.C. and Virginia

            WASHINGTON – Ronald P. Berton, Jr., 48, of the District of Columbia, was found guilty by a jury today for sexually assaulting a 30-year-old woman in June of 2010, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Chief Robert J. Contee, III, of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

            Berton was found guilty of first degree burglary, kidnapping, first degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances, assault with intent to commit first degree sexual abuse, and attempted first degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances. The verdict followed a trial in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Marisa Demo scheduled sentencing for March 3, 2023. Berton faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the crimes. He will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

            According to the government’s evidence presented at trial, on June 12, 2010, at approximately 7:30 a.m., the victim was at home sleeping in her ground level apartment in Adams Morgan. Berton, who was a stranger to the victim, entered her home and proceeded into her bedroom where he stood over her. The victim woke up and the defendant restrained her and sexually assaulted her. The victim fought back, ultimately collecting the defendant’s DNA underneath the fingernails of both her hands. After the assault, Berton stole the victim’s phone and fled. The defendant used the victim’s stolen SIM card, which he placed into a different handset, to call an acquaintance five hours later.

            The victim ran to a firehouse immediately after the assault and reported the offenses. MPD responded promptly and a crime scene technician swabbed under her fingernails for possible DNA. The fingernail swabs were tested in 2010 and resulted in a partial DNA profile of the defendant under her left hand fingernails and a more complete profile under her right hand fingernails.

            Berton was developed as a suspect in this case in approximately 2017, when detectives with MPD’s Cold Case Sexual Assault Unit identified him as the suspect in a 2007 home invasion sexual assault. In that case, Berton had entered the ground level Adams Morgan apartment of a 27 year-old woman who was sleeping. The defendant restrained and sexually assaulted her and then stole her phone and fled. The victim obtained an immediate Sexual Assault Examination and reported the offenses to police. Berton was later identified as the perpetrator of this offense by his DNA profile. He was convicted of the 2007 crimes in a March 2020 trial, in which the jury found him guilty of kidnapping and first degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances.

            Berton also has a 2014 rape conviction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Arlington County. In that case, in September 2010, Berton entered the ground level apartment of a woman who was sleeping and sexually assaulted her. After the assault, the defendant stole two cell phones and a laptop and fled. He was later identified as the perpetrator through DNA.

            In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Graves and Chief Contee commended the work of those who investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI’s Seattle Field Office, and the FBI CAST team. They acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stuart Allen, Dan Lenerz, Nick Coleman, Bryan Han, Chrisellen Kolb, and Sharon Donovan; Lisa Kreeger-Norman, Special Counsel for DNA and Forensic Evidence Litigation; Paralegal Specialists Cynthia Muhammad, Garcia Clarke, and Tiffany Jones; Lead Paralegal Specialist Michelle Wicker; and Victim/Witness Coordinator Katina Adams-Washington. 

            Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katie Kern and Amy Zubrensky, who investigated and prosecuted the case.

Originally published at https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/seattle/news/serial-rapist-convicted-by-jury-for-2010-home-invasion-sexual-assault-of-woman-in-northwest-dc