Victim wants charges dropped against woman arrested in 'twerking' incident

- The victim involved in a "twerking" incident inside a Northeast D.C. gas station convenience store that led to one woman to be arrested says he wants all charges against her to be dropped.

Washington Tharpe tells FOX 5 even though the whole experience was humiliating and embarrassing, he has forgiven the two women involved and wants to find some way to help them turn their lives around.

The incident happened back in October 7 at a gas station in the 1700 block of New York Avenue. Surveillance video of the incident shows Tharpe standing inside the convenience store waiting to pay when two women came up to him and starting aggressively twerking and inappropriately touching him.

He was on the phone at the time and told a friend to call police.

When he left the store, he says they followed him and became even more aggressive.

Police later arrested 22-year-old Ayanna Marie Knight for third-degree sex abuse charge.

Tharpe says he has struggled to deal with this because he felt violated and ashamed and has even gotten angry and vulgar tweets from people about it since it made national news.

But his focus has turned toward his alleged assailants’ future when he realized a conviction could come with prison time, especially because one of them had a prior record of prostitution.

He wants to do something to help them make a better life. Tharpe says he has spoken to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to let them know he wants the charges dropped.

"I do not want these girls locked up,” says Tharpe. “I do not want them to have charges and I don’t want them to go as sex offenders the rest of their lives."

He adds, “My best bet for me to help other people is to see these girls turn their lives around as I do with students. I do this every day -- having them turn their lives around in a positive direction so they can help someone else. I'm even willing to take myself and work with them if they will go out into the community and help young women or even children who are on that same path."

We reached out to the U.S. Attorney's Office about this and were told ultimately that it is not the victim's decision as to whether a suspect will be prosecuted and they would not comment about this case at all.

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