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Man charged with seven hate-crime attacks on women in East Williamsburg

Most took place at Morgan Avenue subway station

February 25, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced on Wednesday that an East Williamsburg man has been indicted on numerous charges of assault, strangulation and burglary as hate crimes and other charges for allegedly attacking seven women in East Williamsburg, allegedly selecting his victims because they were female and light-skinned.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant’s alleged violent and unprovoked attacks endangered the women he targeted and caused widespread fear in the community. I am committed to prosecuting all hate crimes where victims, including as alleged in this case, are targeted because of their gender, skin color or race.”  
The District Attorney’s Office identified the defendant as Khari Covington, 29, who resides in an East Williamsburg transitional housing center. 

He was arraigned Wednesday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 52-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree burglary as a hate crime, second-degree strangulation as a hate crime, third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree menacing as a hate crime and other related charges. His bail was continued at $150,000. 

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Covington, who’s considered a mandatory violent persistent felony offender, faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted. He was ordered to return to court on April 13, 2021.

The district attorney said that, according to the investigation, between Aug. 5, 2020 and Jan. 4, 2021, the defendant allegedly assaulted seven women, whom he targeted because they were women and light-skinned, according to his statements to investigators.

The incidents charged in the indictment include the following:

•    An assault on August 5, 2020 at approximately 9:45 a.m., inside 20 Morgan Ave.
•    An assault on November 17, 2020, at approximately 8 p.m., inside the L train’s Morgan Avenue station.
•    An assault on December 11, 2020 at approximately 9:15 p.m. inside the abovementioned Morgan Avenue train station.
•    An assault on December 28, 2020, at approximately 5 p.m., inside the Morgan Avenue train station.
•    An assault on January 1, 2021, at approximately 8:35 p.m., inside the Morgan Avenue train station.
•    An assault on January 2, 2021, at approximately 9:50 p.m., inside the Morgan Avenue train station.
•    An assault on January 4, 2021, at approximately 5:10 p.m., inside a smoke shop located at 12 Wilson Ave.

Paralegal Michael Chung of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau assisted in the case.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Adriana Rodriguez and Assistant District Attorney Sharmalee Brooks-Gordon, of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli Muse, chief of the Hate Crimes Bureau. 

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