Rape-case victim describes escape from death | May 13, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 13, 2011

Rape-case victim describes escape from death

In case against alleged rapist Lionel Blanks, woman says attack and abduction began after she became lost

by Sue Dremann

From the little bit she could see from under her blindfold, the victim in a brutal 2010 rape and attempted-murder case that began on El Camino Real in Palo Alto said she saw blood cascade from every part of her body the night she was allegedly attacked by Lionel Blanks Jr. of Santa Clara.

This story contains 1160 words.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at sdremann@paweekly.com.


Posted by victims should have rights, too, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm

The victim isn't on trial here. Yet the second victimization proceeds. Courts can give defendants their rights without giving them the opportunity to revictimize in the name of "justice".

Posted by Relevant?, a resident of Stanford
on May 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm

"Doe was cross examined by Deputy Public Defender Gilda Valeros, who asked Doe about a breakup with a former boyfriend in 2009. Valeros also asked Doe to confirm that she knew a former sex offender, from whom she had requested a referral for a bartending job. Doe said she did. "

The judge allowed this line of questioning? What on earth does this have to do with the case? I agree with "victims should have rights, too"; we don't need another victimization.

Posted by JW, a resident of Mountain View
on May 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm

That makes me sick to read.

It is odd that they seem to be poking holes in her story. I'm not sure anyone could fathom how long they were beaten for when they were in and out of consciousness, so the poking holes in her timeline doesn't feel right.

Posted by don't blame the victim!, a resident of Midtown
on May 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm

I remember when this crime was first reported in the local media. Comments on PaloAltoOnline were blaming the victim for napping in her car in a shady part of town. I am glad that people are more sympathetic now. No one deserved what happened to her.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I agree w/don't blame the victim! - some of the comments were abhorrent when this occurred.

Many, many women have been sexually assaulted, not all of them kidnapped and horribly beaten.

I am so sorry that this woman went through this- it is undeservedly heartbreaking and depraved. I am so relieved that she survived. I wish her the deepest blessings of love, support and justice in recovering from this life-threatening ordeal.

Posted by Christy, a resident of Menlo Park
on May 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm

My heart breaks for this woman. I cannot imagine the terror of her ordeal and I am sure her emotional trauma is much more significant than any physical trauma sustained. It sickens me that she is essentially being put on trial here...she is the victim of a brutal attack. May that scum who did this to her rot away in a cold dark cell.

Posted by some guy, a resident of another community
on May 11, 2011 at 9:18 pm

"Ju Doe"? Is that a typo?

Posted by wow, a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2011 at 2:29 am

She was drunk and since when do PA PD allow drunk people to go...isnt it once they are pulled over and suspected of drinking, enough...

they still should lock-up this animal..

Posted by victims should have rights, too, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 12, 2011 at 9:01 am

The accused should have the right to defend themselves in a court of law, but not to victimize someone else in a new forum. If the"defense" involves an accusation leveled at someone else, that person should have rights too, particularly if they are the victim of the crime at issue.

If defense wants to make an accusation, they should have to bring it before the judge first and the victim's lawyer should have a right to defend the victim -- and there should be a presumption of innocence of the victim unless proven guilty -- the courtroom shouldn't be a place where a potential criminal (or their lawyers) are allowed to finish off the victim.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 12, 2011 at 10:23 am

Wow, how do you know she was drunk? She passed a field sobriety test. How disturbing to think a DUI rap would've been better for her than this. Maybe she'd just been a bit buzzed earlier, got lost & was much more sober when she was pulled over. If she was really fiddling w/her GPS device, that's enough of course to cause erratic driving.

It sounds like this psycho was equipped w/a rape kit and looking for someone to use it on - truly what a predator would do.
Yes, they are using "Ju" Doe as her identity because she's Asian. What's the purpose in distinguishing her that way? As a demonstration that she's likely a petite woman?

Posted by don't blame the victim!, a resident of Midtown
on May 12, 2011 at 10:37 am

The Mercury-News did not identify the ethnic background of the victim. Why does the Palo Alto Weekly feel the need to print that information? Would they have printed her race if she were Caucasian?

Posted by Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on May 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Sue Dremann is a registered user.

Ju is the woman's first name. She was identified in the court as "Ju Doe."

Posted by Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on May 12, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Sue Dremann is a registered user.

The ethnic background of the victim was mentioned in the story as a descriptor. We agreed that we would do the same if she was Caucasian.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Was this sensationalistic, gory and detailed description really necessary? Even minors read PaloAlto online. Use common sense, please.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm

I think the details of the story are important because so many people still are doubtful of a rape survivor's story & just like in this case when first reported, blame that survivor. This trump's the lack of control a parent has over what their minor children are reading. As the public who pays to prosecute these monsters, we also have a right to know what happens in our midst, which can be hard to believe as we make our way through our peaceful, suburban lives.

Ms. Dremann, thank you for explaining the usage of "Ju Doe."

Posted by JW, a resident of Mountain View
on May 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Someone said this wa a shady area of town (not sure if it was here or another paper). It's not. I mean, nowhere is "safe" alone at 3am, but wasn't it at El Camino and the street that the stanford graduate housing is on? There are hundreds of families with kids just less than a block away. It's not like she was on the side of 101.
This is something one would be hard-pressed to ever fully recover from.

Posted by neighbor, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Bottom line. NO PERSON, male or female of any race or ethnicity, should be subject to attacks. The perpetrator is guilty, no matter if the person subjected to the attack was drunk...or improperly clothed.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

These comments are impressively thoughtful and supportive of the survivor and it's good to read them all.

I was horrifically attacked some years ago. I still suffer from a back injury caused by my attacker. I don't wish the past nightmares, terror, fear, panic, PTSD or blind desire for survival on anyone. It has been a difficult journey but well worth it. What I went through was not nearly as bad as what this survivor endured, but I think I understand a bit of what she has had to recover from. In my recollection, there have been several terrible sexual assaults on women in the last half decade in Palo Alto, including this one, the student and the woman at home who I think was locked in a closet.

Part of why I live in EPA, honestly, is because it's a place where I can rent & have dogs. I pay a price for living in EPA, but ironically, I am quite safe in my home thanks to having dogs and close neighbors and a husband. I continue that safety at night by usually taking a dog w/me when I go out.

If you are a woman who has to go out at night, I urge you to take a dog w/you if you have one, or get one if you can. I don't mean to be a fear-monger and everyone's lifestyle and needs are different. However, personal safety is a priority and dogs are a big help!

Posted by Carry tear gas at all times, a resident of Meadow Park
on May 13, 2011 at 7:47 am

This is why I always have my teargas with me, in hand....took 2 near misses for me to finally understand that the only one who can protect me is ME.

Posted by WCPZ, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 15, 2011 at 9:11 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by LOOK, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on May 16, 2011 at 1:30 am

since alcohol was in the picture for the victim it might pretty hard..

they still should put this guy away for a long time

Posted by Capricorn, a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm

You know what the sad and sick thing about all this is...I met this fuckin' punk and one of my girl friends was dating him at the time. She introduced him to our circle and she is still standing by him saying he didn't do it.Open your eyes stupid ass D.N.A. I'm so sick to my stomach!!!

Posted by Sympathetic , a resident of another community
on May 20, 2012 at 12:24 am

Both will do life in a prison but one should do it behind bars. Both shall be forgiven but one should be forgotten. I feel sad for the true victims especially the people who loved and respected and trusted the one who committed this God-awful crime. It is true there is no innocent people in this world and we should not judge others but this type of case may prove otherwise. I would hate to be the Judge and Jury because to be forgiven you must first be willing to forgive. God Bless everyone!!!

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