My Letter to the Marin IJ Editor, Jenn Schwartz:
I was shocked to learn about the armed sexual assault that occured in the Marinwood Community Center against a juvenile in April 2019. (Marin IJ 8/25/19) Thankfully, the 19 year old perpetrator was caught and sentenced and the 16 year old girl is safe.
Unfortunately there was no news of this crime when it happened and Marinwood CSD did not inform the community. It is too bad because there are lessons to be learned and safety steps that can be taken.
First, the 16 year old victim deserves to be recognized for her bravery and swift action to protect herself and calling for help. That is an inspiration for all of us who suddenly find ourselves in a situation beyond our control.
Second, apparently they victim only knew the first name of her "date" via the Internet. This was very unwise and is a cautionary tale for everyone on social media. They were in a public place but it could have really gone wrong had they met elsewhere.
Third, the perpetrator claimed he was drunk and blamed the victim. While this is a typical defense, the real issue is the lack of security at Marinwood Community Center events where alcohol is served. The Marinwood CSD puts on many events like the beer festival and there is no uniformed officers present. This is a recipe for disaster. The ONLY uniformed police presence I have seen in Marinwood has been at CSD meetings where they intimitate the public in attendence who dare criticise the CSD.
The Marinwood CSD has kept this shocking sex assault quiet for months and has done nothing to improve security at alcohol fueled events. We need to know our public spaces are safe and teach our children about the dangers of Internet encounters. This story ends well but the lessons should never be forgotten.
Former Marinwood Parks and Recreation Commissioner
See the Marin IJ story on the Marinwood Sex Assault HERE