Charges: Uptown rape suspect has history of choking women

A 39-year-old man was charged Tuesday in a violent sexual assault in Uptown. It was interrupted by passersby, but Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the man "has a history of choking women until they are unconscious and it is just good fortune that he hasn’t killed one of them."

Keith Eugene Washington, was charged with three counts of various types of attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree assault. He will make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon and prosecutors are asking for bail of $500,000.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman had been at several bars on Saturday night with her sister, and early Sunday morning they began to argue. While the woman was calling her other sister to pick her up, Washington began talking to her, so she started to walk away. Two blocks later, he tackled her and began to choke her until she passed out.

Police found her outside 2810 Emerson Ave. S., exposed, with her pants pulled down. When responders were able to bring her to consciousness, she told them Washington had raped her.

Two adults walking on 28th St. E. interrupted the assault upon hearing muffled screams. Washington told them she was “fine,” pointed something at them, and they fled and called police, who later found Washington walking on 28th Street E. He had a cell phone, identity card and a bag of groceries belonging to another woman who told police she was choked to unconsciousness and sexually assaulted two hours earlier a few blocks away.

Washington was also convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2000 in a similar case.