Man Sentenced for DC Hotel Attack at Knifepoint

WASHINGTON — A man was sentenced Friday after he attempted to sexually assault a D.C. hotel housekeeper at knifepoint last fall.

Ernesto Mendoza, 18, was sentenced to three years in prison for an incident at the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel in the 1000 block of H Street NW. He had already pleaded guilty to charges of assault with intent to commit first degree sexual abuse.

On Nov. 26, 2016, Mendoza entered an open door on the 11th floor room that a hotel employee was cleaning at the time. The housekeeper saw Mendoza and, presuming he was a guest occupying the room, walked past him. That’s when officials say Mendoza produced a knife and coerced her into the bedroom.

Mendoza ordered her to take off her clothes, but the victim attempted to grab the knife from him, police said. There was a struggle between the two and the housekeeper was eventually able to escape.

Mendoza fled the scene, but police identified him based on surveillance video.

Mendoza was arrested on Dec. 29, 2016, with help from Metro. Video evidence showed him using Metrorail before and after the crime and even though they couldn’t identify the suspect, police said they were able to track him as he used the Metro system for almost a month after the attack.

After Mendoza completes his prison sentence, he will be placed on three years of probation and must register as a sex offender for the rest of this life.

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