As he watched pornography at his grandmother’s house, Caylon Washington masturbated, as he often did to soothe disappointments, failures or other stress. On this night, it was insufficient.
He got up and began to hunt.
The 24-year-old was in search of women who were pretty. He headed to West 7th, a Fort Worth district of bars that teems with college students.
After driving around the district for a few hours looking for someone to rape, Washington found an 18-year-old woman walking to her car in an alley-like area of parking stalls near a Foch Street bar, Texas Republic, that had been her last stop.
She had been with a friend and an acquaintance for a night of bar hopping late on a Sunday and an early Monday in June 2022.
Once the woman was inside the car, Washington approached and knocked on the window. The woman thought she had dropped something.
She rolled down the window about half way.
“It was a man,” she testified this week at Washington’s trial to determine his punishment on six counts of aggravated sexual assault. Washington last week pleaded guilty to the counts, and a jury in the 371st District Court in Tarrant County began on Tuesday to hear evidence and arguments to decide his sentence.
After about an hour of deliberation, the jury on Wednesday decided on a prison term of 55 years.
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The state had sought life. Defense attorneys John Brender and Lindsay Truly, who represented Washington, requested a term of less than five years served on probation. Judge Ryan Hill presided at the trial.
As Washington began to talk with the victim, he told her he thought she was pretty and that perhaps they could be friends.
She explained to Washington she had a boyfriend, though she did not.
“Let me at least get your Instagram,” Washington said.
Rather than taking out a cellphone to make note of her social media handle, Washington withdrew a handgun he pointed to the left side of her head.
The woman thought the man was attempting to rob her. She offered her car and a $100 bill.
“He said he didn’t want my money. He wanted my [genitalia],” the woman testified.
Washington tried to pull the woman from the car by her legs.
“He said I was not the one making the decisions here,” she testified.
In various locations inside her Mercedes-Benz, Washington forced her to engage in sexual acts.
“He said if I ever wanted to see my family again to pretend that I was enjoying it,” the victim said.
“And did you end up pretending?” prosecutor Darren De La Cruz asked.
“Yes,” the victim replied.
De La Cruz prosecuted the case with Tarrant County Assistant Criminal District Attorney Stephanie Simpson.
The suspect, as so many are, was identified by a network of city-operated Flock surveillance cameras and vehicle license plate readers. The vehicle led police to a house where Washington lived.
He was stopped on a traffic violation and arrested in connection with traffic warrants before he was arrested in the aggravated sexual assault case.
After the verdict, the victim read a statement she had written to her assailant. He had made her afraid of the world, she said.
He was, the woman said, a truly sick person.
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