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Possible sexual assault at Palo Alto's Greer Park

Original post made on Aug 26, 2011

A 22-year-old woman was found partially clothed and passed out in Greer Park on Saturday morning (Aug. 20) in what Palo Alto police described as a possible sexual assault.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, August 26, 2011, 7:28 AM

Comments (35)

Posted by local woman?
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

Did the victim live nearby? Or was she abducted from somewhere else and dumped there?

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2011 at 9:12 am

Also, why was she in an incoherent state? Alcohol? Drugs? Mental conditions? Health issues? Physically abused?

I can understand the police withholding details of the case while an active investigation is being conducted, but I will look forward to learning more about her condition and what it means for public safety.

Posted by Brian Guth-Pasta
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 26, 2011 at 9:24 am

Brian Guth-Pasta is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment.] It's one of the more popular drug areas for kids as well. Sketchy people all around that neighborhood the closer you are to 101.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

Brian, we have no idea if drugs were involved, we have seen no evidence of involvement from anyone who even sniffed EPA in this. We know very little about what happened and we should avoid such large leaps to conclusions. I propose we back off a little, let the police do their jobs, and wait for further information.

Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Aug 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

Why did it take so long for this story to appear. I heard about it last Saturday.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2011 at 10:12 am

Can't help feeling that this sounds like some sort of date rape, in combination with date rape drug and/or alcohol.

Women out there, watch who you date, watch your drinks, and get yourself to and from the date venue until you have met his friends and got to know him really well.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2011 at 10:48 am

Resident, yes, it does have that possibility, but again, there is too much we don't know.

I also think that when you leave your date lying incoherent in a park, it isn't much of a date, it is more of a crime. Depraved indifference comes to mind. But again, there is much we don't know.

I would love to be a fly-on-the-wall for the police investigation here, but we really just have to let them do their job. I trust them to do it well and carefully. Sometimes, saying too much too early can mess up the investigation, and I don't want that. Patience.

Posted by blaze
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm

brian [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff] the only reason why there is still drugs in epa is because people like to go and buy thier drugs their and why you even involving them lol. there are plenty of knocks in palo alto

Posted by observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Usually the term "passed out" is used in conjunction to someone losing consciousness because of alcohol or another drug. I am going to guess that the victim will have very little if any memory of what happened prior to her being left in the park. Ladies, if you suffer from drinking to the point of "passing out" or if you are blacking out, there is help. AA is a good start. Nobody has to be imprisoned by alcohol.

Posted by Resident too
a resident of University South
on Aug 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Police don't know if THE sexual contact was consensual or not? Has sexual contact been confirmed? I'm not questioning the incident, just would like to know as it would clarify the story.

Also, Resident, how about rephrasing that? Men, don't pressure your dates, don't slip anything into their drinks, and get consent before doing anything or going anywhere. If you are or she is intoxicated you cannot give consent. Let's educate the men and boys in our community and not blame the victim.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

> Police don't know if THE sexual contact was consensual or not? Has sexual contact been confirmed?

It was not confirmed in the article, but the title of the article was "Possible sexual assault in Palo Alto's Greer Park", and the first line said that she was partially clothed and passed-out an incoherent as well.

That does paint a pretty bad picture. One really has to wonder what happened and something about those that were involved whatever the case.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Anon, I still maintain that there is a LOT that we don't know, and under the correct circumstances the woman found could be the perpetrator of a crime rather than a victim. Also note that it is being called a "possible sexual assault", which could mean they know sex took place, but they simply don't know if it was an assault or consentual. There is a small pool of facts we know about this event, and a HUGE pool of things we don't know. Let's wait for more information before we make fools of ourselves by jumping to all the wrong conclusions.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Just me, Date rape is a crime and the perpetrator is a criminal. If he has used force against the victims will, it is a crime. If he has spiked drinks, etc. it makes it premeditated crime.

Resident too, yes, men have to be careful out there too when dating.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Resident, it sounds like you are assuming that this is a case of date rape. That is a big assumption. For all you know, she could have been partying in the park with a couple minors, providing the alcohol, and drinking enough of it to pass out. What would make HER the criminal, would it not? Be careful jumping to conclusions. I would agree that your scenario is more likely than mine, but we REALLY don't actually know, do we?

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 26, 2011 at 3:32 pm


No, I said originally that I just wouldn't be surprised if it was date rape. I am not assuming anything, but pointing out that date rape is a crime if it was date rape and so is the possible scenario you mention.

The police are obviously involved which leads me to believe that a crime did take place. The likelihood that this was consentual sex appears very unlikely.

Posted by John
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 26, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Just Me
Somebody had sex with her and left her in an incoherent state and semi dressed in the bushes of a park overnight. Also, her state of mind was more consistent with drugs than alcohol. Seems certain there was a crime and the woman they found was the victim.

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm

You are still just guessing in the absense of real facts. And there is no need to lecture us on the fact that date rape is a crime. The only problem I have with enforcement of date rape as a crime is that the enforcement is only in one direction, when the perp/victim genders are reversed, there is no crime, or the male is still guilty.

Posted by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Aug 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Sue Dremann is a registered user.


The story was held back at the request of Palo Alto police who needed to conduct some investigation.

The information in the story is all that police are willing to confirm at this time while the inveatigation is still ongoing.

Posted by wow
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 27, 2011 at 1:46 am

who knows, there could have been more involved..the guy that left her there should be at fualt..who knows after the guy left a transient could have helped himself..scary thought!!

Posted by mutti
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 27, 2011 at 9:48 am

Another example that the reporters in Palo Alto don't even know their way around the city. Since when is Louis Road anywhere near Greer Park? Last I looked, Greer Park was bounded by Colorado, East Bayshore and Amarillo. The houses that back up to the park are on two small circle streets off of Greer Road. Louis is another long block west.

Posted by Common sense
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Resident states, lets not pressure dates, don't slip anything into their drinks, etc etc, lets "educate our men and boys" Pardon my language but is this not %$#^*&# common sense? Who on earth needs to be told not to spike drinks? Thank god I left Palo Alto when I did, seems to many AP classes has taken the common sense out of people.

Posted by mo
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm

what is a spike drink?

Posted by clarification only
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Aug 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Dear Mo,

I am not authoritative, and do not know the origin of the expression, but my understanding of a "spiked drink" is as follows:

To "spike a drink" means that someone has added a drug to a drink. The drink may have been spiked without the knowledge of other people, e.g., "he spiked the punch bowl at the party". In terms of usage: a drink could be "spiked with alcohol", or it could be "spiked with a date-rape drug", or LSD (in the sixties), etc. The person who drinks it, will have had a "spiked drink".

Posted by mo
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Can she taste it with this many drugs in it? Our school should teach kids about this in high school.

Posted by mo
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I saw a lot times,when an university has party for the students, the drinks are placed on trays and ready for students to pick up,what if someone...

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 28, 2011 at 10:51 am

Spiking a drink is not good, but the severity of it depends on conditions under which the spiking took place an what uas used for spiking. The old spiking of the punch bowl with vodka is a less severe offence than spiking it with LSD. Spiking it with meth should be a capital offense.

I would be VERY careful around college parties where drinks are offered in open containers, VERY careful.

Have there been any updates on the condition of the young lady found in the park or the circumstances surrounding how she came to be there?

Posted by Common sense
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Spiking drinks with Meth and LSD? Are you people serious? This is once again a lack of common sense, the objective of spiking a drink is to make whatever it is your trying to do much easier, METH and LSD will not make your ill intentions any easier. Its called a Benzodiazapine, yes mothers little helper! (for all you older folks who remember the Rolling Stones) In the same classification as Valium you have Ativan, and Rohypnol, AKA ROOFIES. Rohypnol is not legally sold in the US even under prescription, but can be picked up overseas and used as prescribed for actual medical issues. I wouldn't be surprised if we get a good supply of it from Mexico. This is once again common sense, I'm stating the obvious. The greatest crime here is the lack of knowledge and ignorance. I'm sure if you asked your kids they'd be able to tell you all about roofies and benzos, its used in pop culture (think the movie the HANG OVER) on a daily basis.

Posted by Common sense
a resident of another community
on Aug 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Back to the ignorance, Meth is not traditionally consumed Orally, you are mistaking it with your child's Adderall, which is also another amphetamine. Oh my gosh, imagine that! Your feeding your wonderful children meth in order for them to get into the top school!

Posted by GreerNeighbor
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 29, 2011 at 7:27 am

Greer Park is a great place during the day. But we must realize that EVERYPLACE can be more dangerous after the sun goes down. Even Palo Alto.

Don't walk alone at night and if you must make sure you are in a very well-lit area where other people are around.

And don't talk on your cell phone while walking in the dark. DEFINITELY do not text or listen to music (plugged into your ears). The bad guys know that people doing these things are less aware of their surroundings and are thus easy targets.

And take classes in self-defense (where they should remind you of points such as those above, while also teaching you some physical moves) or martial arts. Be aware of your surroundings and always be thinking about your escape plan if harm gets in your way. Better yet, don't put yourself in situations where you should have to worry about getting out of harm's way...

Posted by Common sense
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2011 at 7:38 am

Greer, your forgetting your in California! Its better to curl up into a ball and let the bad guys have their way with you! Defense? That'll land you in jail. Just looking out for nice folk in a nice town with an extremely liberal agenda. People that eat at whole foods, and eat organic don't fight back.

Posted by mo
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 29, 2011 at 7:48 am

A mom's little help?Help herself or her kids,is it a intel-inhence drug?

Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 29, 2011 at 11:52 am

Dear Common Sense,
Let's apply a little. You are assuming that the ONLY reason to spike drinks is to make a sexual conquest easier. That is not the only reason it is done. It is more often done "for fun", to watch the results, to try to increase the "party" atmosphere, or to take someone out. There are LOTS of reasons to spike drinks, none of them are good reasons. Spiking with LSD is NOT undeard of, and at one time was frightenlingly common. The storied results were that the victims would think they could fly and try to do so from tall buildings. Spiking with meth is good for pushers, since it is 100% addictive on first use. It makes a good "sales tool". And yes, it IS commonly taken orally, ever heard of Extacy? You dip a baby-type pacifier in the stuff and suck on it. Ever wonder why baby pacifiers were carried by teens a while back?

Get off the "duh" wagon.

Posted by Common sense
a resident of another community
on Aug 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Methamphetamine and Ectasy are two totally different drugs (with some similarities at the chemical compound level), while X can and has been laced with Meth, it is unlikely. So maybe you should retract the "duh" statement, in the context of a half naked girl in the park, one would assume the objective was rape, which is where Benzodiazpines come into play, I ,however, do not doubt someone would be stupid enough to lace it with LSD and Meth, and Draino, and alot of other stuff.

And mothers little helper? Is in reference to the Rolling stones song, which references valium a common benzodiazapine that was taken by stressed out mothers in a time long ago when it was more easily handed out.

Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 23, 2011 at 12:15 am

Was there ever a followup on this report ?

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Anon, I was wondering that the other day when I drove by the park. I wonder how the victim is doing?

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