A Berkeley man authorities declined to charge this week, after a high-profile sexual assault arrest downtown Monday, has now been arrested in connection with an Oakland attempted homicide and robbery from 2017, according to authorities and records online.
Berkeleyside broke the news Tuesday about five men who had been arrested at a downtown Berkeley apartment after reports they had sexually assaulted five girls, ages 14-16. Other media outlets soon picked up the story.
Thursday, four of the men were charged in the Berkeley case. But Maureece Simpkins, a 19-year-old from Berkeley, was not. BPD officers said, in court papers, that Simpkins had admitted he had a gun Sunday, during what he said was a sex party, but wiped down the gun and hid it before police arrived. He also told police he had sex with one girl, “even though she was acting ‘scared,’” police wrote. Simpkins said another girl performed oral sex on him, too, according to police.
Berkeleyside sought comments from authorities Thursday as to whether charges against Simpkins would be forthcoming. Friday, jail logs were updated to show that Simpkins is now being held on suspicion of an attempted murder in Oakland, as well as a robbery there of an inhabited dwelling or vehicle. (The Berkeley case is no longer listed in his arrest record.) The new arrest appears to stem from an incident in 2017. Berkeleyside has asked the Oakland Police Department for details.
Simpkins is now set to be arraigned on the Oakland charges Monday, according to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office. Berkeleyside has requested a booking photograph of Simpkins from the sheriff’s office, and will update this story if it is provided.
Simpkins is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, according to jail records. He has been in custody since his arrest earlier this week in the Berkeley case.
Simpkins has just one prior criminal case in Alameda County, according to court records online. In February 2017, he was charged with receiving stolen property, a felony, and misdemeanor vehicle theft. He ultimately took a plea deal, with a “no contest” plea to the misdemeanor, and was sentenced to probation. Simpkins spent 10 days in jail and was placed on court probation through August 2020.
Charges have been filed against four men
As for the other defendants in the Berkeley case, all four have been charged with multiple violent sexual assaults involving a gun. Two girls were the victims of those assaults, according to court papers. Their names have been withheld by authorities due to their ages and the nature of the case.
The men have been identified as Marquis Joyce, 25, of Oakland; Jakari Williams-Compton, a 20-year-old security guard from Oakland; Chad Williams, 20, of Berkeley; and Drevon Clemon, 23, of Mather, California. All four are set to enter pleas in the case Thursday, and remain in custody. They are being held without bail, according to records online.
Police told Berkeleyside previously that officers were called to the 1800 block of Shattuck Avenue, at Hearst Avenue, just after 1:30 a.m. Monday to investigate reports of sexual assaults of teenage girls by a group of men, one of whom had a gun. According to court papers, that gun, found stashed inside a Target bag with an extended 17-round clip, was later determined to have been stolen from Rocklin, California, in Placer County.
Court papers reveal disturbing details about the allegations raised in the sexual assault investigation. Simpkins told police the group had gotten together for a hangout, which began Sunday and ended early Monday, that was “basically a party to drink, smoke, and have sex,” police wrote in court documents. According to police, during that event, one of the men pulled out a gun and told the girls they couldn’t leave. Joyce told the girls to give up their phones, and “The adult males then engaged in sexual acts with 4 of the minor victims.”
Jane Doe 1
A 15-year-old girl told police Joyce “punched her in the face, choked her, and pointed a gun at her,” then forced her to perform oral sex on him, Williams and Williams-Compton. He said “he would kill her if she tried to leave or called the police,” police wrote in court documents.
After the sexual assault, she said Joyce slapped her and pushed her out of the apartment. Outside, crying, she and another girl were able to flag down a passing motorist and use his phone to call 911, police said.
That second girl, who is 14, told police the men “were holding some of the females’ mouths open and pouring alcohol down their throats.” Both girls told police Joyce had a gun with an extended magazine. Another 14-year-old girl told police the men had passed around the gun and taken pictures with it during the hangout.
According to court papers, Joyce said he had dated the 15-year-old, but had broken up with her when he learned her age. He admitted to having had sex with her in the past year, however, police wrote. He also said he had oral sex with the teenager the night of the arrest, but denied having a gun, according to court papers. He described the house as a “trap house,” which traditionally has referred to a drug house but has since come to mean, more broadly, a place where illegal items of all kinds are kept.
Williams, too, told police the 15-year-old girl had performed oral sex on him, authorities wrote. He also denied knowledge of the gun.
Williams-Compton told police “he wasn’t involved in any sexual activity at the apartment and denied any knowledge of a gun.” He later told someone during a jail phone call reviewed by a BPD detective, however, that one girl performed oral sex on him at the apartment prior to the arrest, according to court papers.
The three men have each been charged with three counts of oral copulation by acting in concert with force. All three counts involve the same victim — identified as Jane Doe 1, according to court documents — and include special allegations related to kidnapping for a sex offense, the use of a gun, and sexual offenses involving violence. The men could be sent to prison if convicted.
Jane Doe 2
A third 14-year-old girl told police she had seen Joyce “acting tough with the gun” before he handed it over to Simpkins, police wrote.
At some point, “she took a shower and when she came out someone yelled ‘turn out the lights,’” according to court papers. Clemon and Joyce then sexually assaulted her, police wrote. Joyce “pinned her down” and held her by the hair and neck “while she kept saying ‘no’ to him.” She eventually managed to get out of the bathroom, around the time the 15-year-old girl was forced to leave.
According to police, Clemon admitted he was the one who took the 14-year-old into the bathroom. He said “he got carried away” while kissing her, and that “he tried to have sex” with her. And he said he was not the only one to try to do so. He told police the girl “told him she did not want to have sex with him,” according to court papers, and he admitted he put his fingers inside her vagina. He also said, at some point, she “was crying … on the phone” with someone who asked her, “Why did you say you was raped?”
Police said they also found video on Clemon’s phone that showed him holding the gun later found during the apartment search. He told police, during an interview, “that he was a ‘dumbass’ for making the video with the gun,” police wrote in court papers.
Joyce and Clemon have each been charged with two counts of attempted oral copulation by acting in concert with force, as well as a third felony of forcible sexual penetration on a minor. All three charges relate to one victim, identified in court papers as Jane Doe 2. Special allegations include the use of a firearm, that they were sexual offenses of a violent nature, kidnapping for the purpose of a sexual offense and that the same victim was involved in separate incidents.
The Berkeley Police Department said Friday that Simpkins would not be charged in the Berkeley sexual assault case.
Berkeleyside asked the Alameda County district attorney’s office why Simpkins’s name appears at the top of the charging document for the sexual assault case, which also lists the other men — even though his name does not appear in any of the actual charges. Deputy District Attorney Teresa Drenick, office spokeswoman, said she would have to look further into the case but “if there is an error on the face of the complaint, it will be corrected as soon as the DDA reviews it.”
OPD said Friday that its homicide investigators were not aware of any case involving Simpkins, and that they could not immediately locate, in their computer system, the case number listed in jail records for the robbery and homicide attempt. They said additional information might be available next week.