Victim of Alleged Mission District Rape Urged To Go To Police
Reports of a violent sexual assault at 19th and Capp streets in the Mission District are burning up local blogs, but have yet to reach the San Francisco Police Department.
After reports that police were no help to the victim of a rape last Sunday night at 19th and Capp were posted to Facebook and Reddit, multiple news organizations hastened to SFPD’s media relations department to confirm details of the crime, which was not posted to the daily “recap” sent by police to news organizations. But after a day of research, SFPD spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said no such assault had been reported to police.
The Facebook message (since either deleted are made unviewable), posted by user Tuula Ala on Wednesday, said:
Okay people. I need your help, and this shit is important. One of my friends was VIOLENTLY ASSAULTED and RAPED by two men she did not know Sunday night at 19th and Capp. You wanna get graphic? I’m talking stitches in the cervix. With her permission, I’ve written to the two local mission blogs, asking them to publish this incident. Nothing. Police help? NOTHING.
Then today my friend saw two dudes walking down the street matching the descriptions of the attackers. One had scratches on his face that correspond with the attack. Two Hispanic men, between 20-25. One stocky, one lean, one with obvious scratches on his face. So help me out. Share this info. At the very least, maybe we can tell women in the area to be on the alert. Any other suggestions?? I feel helpless and ANGRY.
When contacted by an Appeal intermediary, the person responsible for the initial Facebook post, Tuula Ala, said that the victim, whom she said is a friend of hers, “has agreed to talk to people,” and passed on a phone number.
When contacted by the Appeal, however, the woman who answered the phone said she was done talking about the attack, ending the call by saying.
“Lose my number. I’m done with this fucking shit, goodbye.”
However, before being contacted by the Appeal, the alleged victim did contact and speak with Mission Local, which published this interview with the victim.
According to the interview, the victim was walking home from Bender’s Bar on South Van Ness Avenue shortly before 2 AM on Monday when she was attacked from behind, dragged to a Capp Street driveway, and raped.
In an email published by Mission Mission, a person describing themselves as a friend of the alleged said:
The rape was reported at SFGH as well as in a police report, and also to SF WAR. If necessary, my friend is willing to provide hospital records with her name blacked out as evidence.
In addition, Mission Mission commenter Kiran said “Just stood forevs in line at the 17th and Valencia station to ask about it. They definitely know about it and how vicious it was.”
However, as of late Thursday, the San Francisco Police Department has not been contacted by the victim, according to Andraychak.
“The police department has not received a report of a sexual assualt occuring Monday morning, June 18, at 19th and Capp streets,” Andraychak said. “We would encourage the victim of any such incident to immediately report it to police.”
A police report is typically a necessary precursor to any investigation.
There are no reports of any similar rapes or sexual assaults matching the description of this incident on file with SFPD, according to police.
San Francisco General Hospital does not automatically send sexual assault victims’ information — including allegations of a crime — to police. According to a report published Thursday evening by Mission Local, “the hospital didn’t know about the incident.”
When contacted by the Appeal, a San Francisco Women Against Rape (SF WAR) spokesperson could not confirm that they had been contacted by anyone regarding an attack like the one described by the Facebook post and woman interviewed by Mission Local.
Incidents of rape in San Francisco are on the decline, according to police statistics. 127 rapes were reported to police in 2011, according to CompStat figures. There were 140 reported rapes in 2010.
Over 54 percent of rapes are never reported to police, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
SFPD has a recently-created Special Victims Unit that includes professional support staff and crisis counselors as well as police investigators, Andraychak said.
“We’re here to take the report and [investigate the crime] but we’re also here to look out for victims’ needs,” he said. “We have experts ready to work with victims.”