Posts Tagged ‘mentally disabled’

Mentally Disabled & Being a Non-consentable Person

This is Post #3 to follow-up on my two posts published on July 25 & 27, 2010

My cousin’s brother is one of the primary advocates for my cousin.  My cousin’s sister (who lives a thousand miles away) is another primary advocate.

This is the email I received today Tuesday, July 27, 2010 from my cousin’s brother (San Francisco):

“I just got off the phone with Detective ____ from Alameda County Sheriff’s department.

He told me that he will be handling the case. First thing he will do is to contact BART for the video. I already told him it’s from Contra Costa County (not Alameda County).

He mentioned that other than Sis’s mental capacity, there is no crime because she went willingly and based on Sis’s statements, the suspect stopped when asked to.

I told him that the SFGH examiner said Sis is a non-consentable person, meaning her “yes” answers do not qualify as consent. This is similar to a child consenting for sex. It still does not qualify as a real “yes”.

He will contact me after investigating.

I asked for a case number but he has not generated one yet because it is not yet determined how this will be handled.”

* * *

We are not going to give up on our family member or our community. The man in the car who stopped my cousin (between late night July 22 and early morning of July 23) asked her “Do you need help?” and she said “Yes.”  His not calling the police but taking her to his home, sexually battering her, and keeping her there until morning is helping ???

My cousins are brave and I am going to continue to support their efforts. I am contacting NAMI ,  Community Violence Solutions and other agencies.


Teresa LeYung Ryan

From the National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI’s website, I found the “How You Can Help” page :

Contact Your Representatives

It is important that you contact your state and national representatives to ensure they are working for people with mental illness.

A list of current legislation impacting mental health is available along with an easy way to contact your representative with just a few clicks of a mouse.

(For California

Issues and Legislation

The NAMI Newsroom the place for reporters, advocates and other media professionals. NAMI’s communications services team is available around-the-clock to news media for:

  • Expert analysis on a wide range of issues related to severe mental illnesses or brain disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder/manic-depression, major depression, and anxiety disorders.
  • Current data on research, treatments, rates of prevalence
  • Interviews with national spokespersons and technical experts
  • Access to persons with serious mental illness and their families who are willing to share personal stories with the media
  • Comment on breaking news

Christine Armstrong, Media Relations Associate
Colonial Place Three
2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-3042
Telephone: (703) 524-7600 · FAX: (703) 516-7238  ·

Please be careful. Please call 911 when you see/hear/sense anything that tells you “something isn’t right” because you could be preventing or stopping a crime.

My cousin (a Chinese woman in her thirties, mentally disabled) lives with her family in the outer Sunset area in San Francisco, CA.  She has never left the house by herself.

Between 11:30pm and midnight Thursday night, July 22, 2010, she had gone to her bedroom. Around midnight, a family member realized that she wasn’t in her room. She was nowhere inside the house. The front door was left opened.  The SF police was called.

My cousin was wearing her slippers and a fleece jacket. She was recovering from surgery.  How far could she have walked in her condition?

My cousin’s brother drove all over the neighborhood for 5 hours.

In the morning, my cousin’s sister called me.  I raced to San Francisco.  Our plan of action was to make hundreds of copies of the Missing Person flyer (with a photo of my cousin; my uncle had added Chinese words “Please help us find our daughter”)  and we would fan out and ask neighbors if they saw anyone walking late last night.

My cousin is now home, safe.  My cousin (who has never ridden public transportation by herself) was reported to be riding on a AC Transit bus.  The bus driver had noticed her riding for a couple of hours, back and forth; he remembered seeing her board at Downtown Berkeley; he called AC Transit Police; Alameda County Sheriff’s Department responded). However Alameda County had no record of her as a “missing person.”

How did she get there?  According to my cousin’s report to her brother approximately 24 hours later:

She had walked only a couple of blocks (remember–this is outer Sunset district in San Francisco) when a man in a car asked if she needed help.  She said “Yes.”  My cousin has the mental capacity of a child.  Instead of helping her by calling the police, the man took her to his home in the East Bay and sexually assaulted her and kept her there until morning when he took her to BART (Contra Costa County), bought her a ticket and told her to go home.

After hearing this from my cousin, my cousin’s brother called the police again. The police took my cousin to SF General Hospital for physical examination and interview.

This case is complicated – my cousin might have gotten into the man’s vehicle in San Francisco County; the BART ticket originated in Contra Costa County; she was found in Alameda County. Three counties.  Who’s case is it?  That BART ticket is a key evidence.

The main message in this post is this:

Family members didn’t hear my cousin leave her room, walk down the stairs, or open the front door. No one thought she would ever leave the house by herself. Friday night we asked the police how we could make the house safer (probably the same concern that families of Alzheimer’s patients have).  One tip:  use an alarm system so that other people in the house would be alerted when the alarm is tripped. Be safe, everyone. Talk to public safety representatives in your neighborhoods.

I thank our angels and the kind people who helped find our cousin.

Here’s the website for the Taraval Police district of San Francisco Click on Community Updates to get a list of police stations that offer newsletters which inform residents of incidents occurring in their districts.

List of Stations in SF:

Central Station
Southern Station
Bayview Station
Mission Station
Northern Station
Park Station
Richmond Station
Ingleside Station
Taraval Station
Tenderloin Station

San Francisco Police Department Missing Persons

Contact the police department in your city and ask to receive Community Updates.

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