District of Columbia Couple Pleads Guilty to Child Cruelty Charges
Defendants Also Tried to Obstruct Investigation Into Beating of 5-Year-Old Girl
WASHINGTON (STL.News) A District of Columbia man and his fiancé have pleaded guilty to child cruelty charges stemming from an assault of a five-year-old girl in their care, U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Robert J. Contee III, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, announced today.
Dawub Balil, also known as Tyvez Jackson, 26, and Diamond Taylor, 24, pleaded guilty on Nov. 3, 2021, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Balil pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty to children, a felony, and Taylor pleaded guilty to a felony charge of second-degree cruelty to children. Both also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. Both defendants are to be sentenced Jan. 28, 2022, by the Honorable Marisa Demeo.
According to the government’s evidence, Balil and Taylor resided in the 2800 block of Pomeroy Road SE, with four children, including the 5-year-old, who is identified in court documents as “D.J.” Balil is the child’s father. He and Taylor, who was not “D.J.”’s biological mother, were the primary caregivers for her and had exclusive care and custody of her weeks prior to “D.J.’s” hospitalization.
On May 28, 2020, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Taylor called 911 and reported that “D.J.” fell from the top of her bunk bed, which she later admitted was untrue. The D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department arrived on the scene and found “D.J.” in the bathroom, face up in the tub. The shower was running, and the tub was filling up with cold water.
The girl was taken to Children’s National Medical Center. A pediatrician noted that she suffered from a severe head trauma, a lacerated liver, old and new rib fractures, and fractures to her tibia and wrists, among other injuries. Several of those injuries were loop shaped and were concentrated on her thighs. The doctor believed the marks were consistent with being hit with a belt. The doctor also stated that she believed these injuries were consistent with repeated abuse.
After “D.J.” was taken to the hospital, Balil subsequently threatened his roommates and took their cell phone so that they would not be able to make a report about the child abuse to the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency or the Metropolitan Police Department. Taylor admitted that on May 28, 2020, she told her children not to tell the police that Balil beats the children.
In their guilty pleas, both defendants acknowledged inflicting injuries on “D.J.” on other occasions.
In announcing the pleas, 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 Children’s National Medical Center. They acknowledged the efforts of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Stephanie Gilbert, Meridith McGarrity, and Tasha Harris; Investigative Analyst Zachary McMenamin; Supervisor Litigation Technology Specialist Leif Hickling, and Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Wright, who prosecuted the case.