PSA: How To Report A Threat Of Violence to Increase Chances Of Arrest, Hold & Criminal Charges (Or, The One That Maybe Didn’t Get Away).

It really bothers me that I’m sitting on all this legal knowledge, experience and skill and there’s nothing I can do with or about it.  Because of the pain and symptoms of my disease I am definitely not physically or mentally able to practice law full time anymore, but as I learned early on, to my crushing dismay, there is really no such thing as a part-time attorney.  This profession is still a bros club which means that it requires long hours and plenty of so-called face time, exactly as much as you would expect in order to squeeze most women out of most of the best positions while simultaneously providing cover, excuse and alibi under which powerful men commit adultery, avoid emasculating and squikky domestic chores, and otherwise abuse their power at women’s and everyone’s expense.  Seriously, don’t let the relatively high rate of female law graduates fool you into thinking the law is a reliably safe, lucrative or accessible field for women because it’s definitely not.  Fuck me did I learn that one the hard way.

But you know what?  I’m not dead yet and I’m still breathing and conscious and pissed off enough to write this post so I’m going to write it.  Today, my upstairs neighbor had what was apparently a psychotic break and started throwing bottles of piss and garbage into my yard and threatened my life.  I called the cops and made a report.  He was arrested and removed based on my statement and that of other witnesses (crime victims are technically just witnesses ourselves) and my property manager cleaned and disinfected my yard at my request.  The cops, firemen, first responders and the whole damn town apparently turned up to watch the show.  What they didn’t get to see was the man who threatened and assaulted me get off with a warning or with no consequences at all.  Who knows what the second act will be but the first act saw my assaulter arrested and taken to the hospital first, then presumably to jail.

I am writing this post to give a practical, technical example of proper reporting behavior/content to victims who report threatening or violent behavior, which reporting will leave the cops with little choice but to arrest, hold and charge the perpetrator with a crime.  Little choice is not no choice of course and they could still let him out/off at any time.  That’s probably exactly what will happen in the end, but I gave them as little choice as possible and increased the chances of an arrest, hold and charge the best I could.  Here’s what I did.  The short answer is, you have to answer YES to both of the following questions if you want the incident to be taken as seriously as possible at the reporting stage, hopefully ensuring that your attacker is arrested and taken to jail, that he is held there, and that he is properly charged with a crime.

Continue reading “PSA: How To Report A Threat Of Violence to Increase Chances Of Arrest, Hold & Criminal Charges (Or, The One That Maybe Didn’t Get Away).”

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Storytime. That Time I Was Attacked by a Serial Predator (and The DA Called Me About it 20 Years Later).

Today I received a telephone call from an investigator with a California District Attorney’s office (I won’t say which one).  His message said that “no one is in trouble” and he just wants to speak with me about an old case.  When I Googled, I found the man’s name and number on a telephone list for the Sex Crimes investigation unit.  He was indeed an investigator with the DA and I figured I knew what he was on about — I was sexually assaulted in college by a serial offender and I deduced that my attacker had been arrested again.  It’s the only “old case” I could think of and certainly the only sex crime in which I was ever involved.  Of course, as an attorney, I kind of think investigators are shit/pure evil (of the little dick/huge ego persuasion) and I also know they lie.  So I didn’t care to take or return a cold call from one.

Instead of calling him back I called his supervisors and left voicemails introducing myself as an attorney and asking what the call was about.  Later, the investigator called me back and left a more detailed message, this time including my attacker’s name.  Obviously I recognized the name; what an unpleasant, unexpected and unwanted blast from the past that was (is there any other kind?).  The guy they were calling about had been a stranger to me — so much for the “strange men are totally safe because the men you know are worse” liberal feminist trope — and he had digitally penetrated me in a public place.  A Halloween party.  The police report and subsequent deposition for the case were a riot.  The Guy With the Knife In His Head did this.  Ace Ventura did that.  It was surreal, darkly funny and traumatic.

As I recall, by the time I was called in to do the deposition on my assault my attacker had been arrested again, this time for the rape and attempted murder of his common law wife.  They told me he was definitely going to jail on charges related to that and they planned to drop the charges related to my assault as part of a plea deal.  They asked me how I felt about that, explaining that if I wanted the prosecutor to pursue my case, as a victim, they would consider my wishes.  Since he was going to jail anyway I said that was fine with me.  I was busy trying to survive college and work, my attacker’s lawyer was a dick and had harassed me during the depo and I really didn’t care to have anything more to do with it.  I bowed out and as far as I know that’s exactly what happened: my case went away and my attacker went to jail.  The woman he had raped and tried to kill declined to cooperate at all, saying she would not “help white America put another black man in prison.”

Now, 20 years later I get a call from Little Dick/Big Ego who promised I wasn’t in trouble and said he just wanted to talk.  Is that any way to start a fucking conversation?  Jesus.  It was almost as if he didn’t want me to call him back at all.  Unsurprisingly, the guy who attacked me 20 years ago has been arrested again, this time for rape and sodomy.  I Googled his name and read the details of his latest violent femicidal crime.  Apparently, in California, the prosecutor can bring in victims from prior similar cases to show that the accused is a lifelong asshole (essentially) and the prosecutor is hoping, this time, “to put him away for life.”  My attacker had already been a lifelong asshole when he was arrested for what he did to me and the cops all knew him — long before that, they had given him a nickname that started with The.  You know, like The Hulk, The Terminator, The Situation, etc.  I won’t say what the nickname was but it was a shortened version of his last name and he had a history of prior offenses “as long as my arm” as the cops and prosecutors all told me at the time.  So now, 20 years and a hundred lifetimes later, I have yet another prosecutor wanting my perspective on “Mr. The” because apparently, trying to keep a serial woman abuser in prison is like trying to nail Jello to a wall.

Continue reading “Storytime. That Time I Was Attacked by a Serial Predator (and The DA Called Me About it 20 Years Later).”