DA Vance: William Dixon Arraigned on ‘John Doe’ Indictment Charging Him With 1993 Sex Assault of 11-Year-Old Girl

May 4, 2017

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of WILLIAM DIXON, 58, following a recent DNA cold case hit, for the February 1993 knifepoint sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in Hamilton Heights. DIXON is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Sodomy in the First and Second Degrees.[1]

“Thanks to a pioneering effort by Assistant District Attorneys Martha Bashford and Melissa Mourges, as well as former Sex Crimes Chief Linda Fairstein, cold cases are not forgotten cases. And thanks to the power of DNA evidence, cold cases do not remain cold cases,” said District Attorney Vance. “Less than two weeks ago, a DNA hit identified the alleged perpetrator of this brutal assault on a young girl. And more than two decades after the attack, the very same prosecutor that indicted the then-unknown defendant’s DNA profile is handling his prosecution. In case after case, New York continues to reap the benefits of the City’s groundbreaking effort to test backlogged rape kits in the early 2000s. It is my sincere hope that our Office’s $38 million initiative to test backlogged rape kits across the country will result in justice for victims and bring closure to survivors for decades to come.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, on February 17, 1993, DIXON approached an 11-year-old girl in the hallway of a Hamilton Heights apartment building. He pulled her hat over her eyes, held a knife to her throat, and forced her to the building’s rooftop, where he sexually assaulted her. The victim went to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center following the attack, where the elements of a sexual assault evidence kit, or “rape kit,” were collected. 

In 2002, a DNA profile developed from the victim’s rape kit as part of New York City’s Rape Kit Backlog Project was uploaded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), but did not immediately match a preexisting DNA profile. The District Attorney’s Office presented the criminal case to a New York Supreme Court Grand Jury in 2003, obtaining a “John Doe” indictment listing the perpetrator by his DNA profile. 

In January, DIXON pleaded guilty to raping a 12-year-old girl in the Bronx in November 2016. Following that conviction, his DNA profile was entered into CODIS, and matched the DNA profile listed on the Manhattan “John Doe” indictment. 

Assistant District Attorney Martha Bashford, Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, is handling the prosecution of this case with Assistant District Attorney Megan McDermott, under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Senior Investigator Alan Sandomir is assisting with the case.

District Attorney Vance thanked NYPD Detective Michael Rama of the Special Victims’ Division.

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.

Defendant Information:

WILLIAM DIXON, D.O.B. 8/4/1958


  • Sodomy in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
  • Sodomy in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count