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Assault, kidnap victim can't ID assailant

Original post made on Apr 3, 2008

The Gunn High School student who was beaten, kidnapped and sexually assaulted last Oct. 30 appeared in court Wednesday in Palo Alto and described in a sometimes quiet but clear voice what happened to her. But the slight, young Asian woman could not positively identify Todd David Burpee as the man who assaulted her.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 9:28 PM

Comments (16)

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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2008 at 5:59 am

[Comment removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2008 at 6:11 am

Since there was no question of the ID of the attacker, I believe it was uncalled for to ask her to identify him.


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Posted by julie
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2008 at 10:11 am



It is terrible that this case went to trial putting the victim and the community through this trauma again.

Since the attacker chose to go to trial and put everyone through this he should face the maximum penalty with no mercy, the same should apply to his girlfriend if she is implicated in any cover up etc.


It is still unclear to me how this attacker was attending school in the PAUSD when his family did not live here.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 3, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Angry over a fight with his girlfriend? The maximum penalty is warranted. A screening process should also be put in place at our high schools to see if we can identify any similar individuals before they commit horrific crimes and students should be trained in self-defense. Lest anyone has any doubts, this proves it can happen here. My sympathies to the victim.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 3, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Julie, attend school here and not live here. It's Soooo easy.


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Posted by w
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 3, 2008 at 2:08 pm

why is a vietnamese judge presiding over a so called african american? many vietnamese immigrants recieve financial aid , while an african american or similar minority isnt even considered if thety have a severe life altering health problem this isntb to stir animosity, as i am asiatic myself, but its time we have juasice for all ,just like i pleged in grammar school ,but have not seen this truth in the american scene.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2008 at 2:44 pm

The judge is an American, as is the victim, the perp and most North American blacks. We have equal justice under the law - an ofay or an Asian who play the every day is push day game receive if anything worse treatment than a "brother."


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2008 at 3:04 pm

As an aside, do we now have two Walter_E_Wallis of Midtown, s I am seeing some say Walter E Wallis (without the underscore). Walter, if you are out there, someone is possibly stealing your unique identity.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2008 at 3:28 pm

to "w",

this is the first time I've ever seen someone refer to their ethnicity as an "asiatic". That faux pax plus your bordering-on-racist comment about the judge's ethnicity (as if a Vietnamese-American judge should not be permitted to preside over a case involving a black defendant), makes it pretty clear that (a) you're just posing as an Asian to make it look like your criticism of the judge has more merit (it doesn't) and (b) your ridiculous comment that you're not here to "stir animosity" is just that: ridiculous. Maybe you should go back to grammar school, you ignorant fool.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is my Vista machine, Walter E. Wallis is my XP machine. On my TRSDOS machine I am [was] oldgene. On my AN/GRC9 I was UU2, on my SCR300 I was ditchdigger and on the EE8 I was Inspire 28.


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Posted by KATIE
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2008 at 11:22 pm

(Whoever wrote this article needs spell check and grammar check...just an FYI).

I feel really aweful for this girl. This guy is a complete psychopath. Totally gross. I really hope that he gets life plus 12 years and never walks any of these streets again. Ewe. His girlfriend also needs a wake up call for dating such a horrible loser and not noticing that there was something really wrong with this sicko.


Again, I am so sorry that this girl had to go through this horrific assult and I feel aweful that she has to testify against this horrible creep in court. However, I am extremely relieved that this loser did not kill her. What if he had? Would we have ever found him? That is such a scary thought.



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Posted by r
a resident of Monroe Park
on Apr 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm

who gives a white person the right to claim they know who is ''asian '' or any race. or any african american to judge who someone is, the fact IS , that the usa promotes the discrimination of anyone the deem is not ''the right race'' ,a comment i heard a WHITE person say as they realized that positions of ''authority'' are racial. btw , ive NEVER seen an african american ''judge'' anywhere except the media. ive attended many court dates and rarely sen african judge throughout many decades...


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Posted by mary
a resident of Hoover School
on Apr 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm



Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American jurist and has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. He is the second African American to serve on the nation's highest court, after Justice Thurgood Marshall. Appointed by Republican George H.W. Bush, Thomas's career in the Supreme Court has seen him take a conservative approach to cases while adhering to the postulates of originalism.

I am troubled that some will try to make this trial an OJ repeat


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2008 at 6:01 am

The US has equality under the law now, and has had that equality for years. The differences that still exist are cultural.


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Posted by Chris
a resident of another community
on Apr 7, 2008 at 10:50 am

What does all this discussion of race and general societal discrimination have to do with this case?? It's irrelevant. Let's not forget the facts here: (1) Todd confessed to police about his attack on the girl after he was arrested and his account matched the victim's account of what happened; (2) the police found an earring belonging to the girl in Todd's car so clearly she was in his car at one point; (3) the attack was brutal and without any provocation--he choked an innocent teenager, slammed her head into the ground and sexually assaulted her. Those are the only facts that matter. So please shut up about all the inane comments about the judge's ethnicity or whether this case is supposed to be a reflection of social and moral justice of the entire country. This is a criminal case involving a vicious attack by a dangerous man on an innocent teenager.


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Posted by mary
a resident of Hoover School
on Apr 7, 2008 at 3:36 pm




Well remember OJ got away with double murder in the face of DNA evidence.

That LA was so intimidated by the Rodney King riots probably ha something to do with it.

The fact that this case in PA is going to trial worries me because the defense and/or sympathizers will inject race and the threat of riots because it has worked before.



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