A Torrance, Calif. woman was brutally beaten and raped in July by a man who was arrested mere hours before the assault for possessing a weapon, but was immediately released from custody.
Marissa Young, 46, told the Daily Breeze that she fought for her life for nearly half an hour in an abandoned Torrance park at night as the alleged perpetrator, Darrell Dean Waters of Los Angeles, punched her in the face repeatedly and eventually forced her to perform oral sex.
Waters, 46, had been arrested hours before for misdemeanor possession “of a dirk or dagger” and was immediately released without posting bond because it was unclear whether either the Torrance or Los Angeles district attorneys would bother to prosecute the perpetrator for a misdemeanor charge, a spokesman for the former’s police department confirmed.
Waters beat Young so severely that her two front teeth came out and landed feet away from where the attack occurred. According to the police statement, Young allegedly choked Young until she nearly passed out and bit her breast. At one point, Young cried out for help and Waters mocked her. “Nobody is coming for you, are they?” he allegedly said.
Eric Siddall, a spokesman for the union that represents Los Angeles County prosecutors told the Daily Breeze it was unfair to fix the blame on them.
“The California constitution requires courts to consider public safety when setting bail,” Siddall said. “Recently, this requirement has been watered down by the courts, Legislature and some prosecutors. However, when it comes to misdemeanor crimes, historically, few defendants were ever kept in custody.”
According to Siddall, less than 1 percent of “pretrial county jail inmates” are imprisoned for misdemeanor offenses.
However, this answer doesn’t satisfy Young. “If he had been kept in jail, what happened to me wouldn’t have happened,” she said. “I could have been murdered.”
Los Angeles DA George Gascón weighed in on the case as well: “This crime sent shock waves through the South Bay community and we thank the Torrance Police Department for quickly solving this case. The victim in this case exhibited incredible bravery. This awful attack could have ended even more tragically were it not for her tremendous will.”
The City of Angels has seen a massive wave of violent crime throughout 2022. Murders, alone, are up over 35 percent in two years. Compared to his predecessor, Gascón’s tenure has seen fewer charges filed for sexual assault, murder, and shootings.
Gascón is seen as one of a wave of liberal DAs across San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, and New York City who have taken a soft stand on crime and violence.