District Man Sentenced to Four Years in Prison For Stalking and Assaulting Ex-Girlfriend

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

            WASHINGTON – Kevin Cooke, 22, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to four years in prison for a series of incidents in which he stalked and assaulted his ex-girlfriend and set fire to her family’s residence in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves.

            Cooke pleaded guilty in February 2022, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to charges of arson, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon, stalking, and simple assault. He was sentenced by the Honorable Lynn Leibovitz. Following completion of his prison term, Cooke is to be placed on three years of supervised release.

            According to the government’s evidence, Cooke stalked and harassed his ex-girlfriend and her family between March 2021, when the relationship ended, and October 2021, when he was arrested. He set fire to the exterior of the victims’ apartment building in the 300 block of Anacostia Road SE on multiple dates, terrorizing those in the building. Cooke was under a stay-away and no-contact order issued by the Court barring him from the victim and her family’s apartment building. Nonetheless, on Aug. 30, 2021, at approximately 2 a.m., he lit items on fire and threw them into the victims’ window. Nearly 2 ½ hours later, he also fired approximately 16 rounds at the victims’ building. No one was hurt.

            Cooke also arranged a meeting with his ex-girlfriend by hacking an Instagram account of one of her friends. He surprised his ex-girlfriend on Sept. 12, 2021, at her college residence hall, grabbed her, dragged her into a laundry room, and hit her in the face multiple times. He fled before police arrived. Finally, on Oct. 2, 2021, he was caught on surveillance video using a gas can and accelerant to once again set fire to the exterior of the family’s apartment building. He was arrested on Oct. 4, 2021.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Graves commended the work of those who investigated the case from the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department’s Fire Investigation Unit and the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed appreciation for the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Lu Lan, Paralegal Specialist Brenda Williams, and Special Agents Neil D’Cunha and Nelson Rhone of the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Unit.

            Finally, he commended the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Horton, who investigated and prosecuted the case.