The beginning of a post by Sasha Perigo
The beginning of a twitter post by Sasha Perigo.

Housing activist and Stanford student Sasha Perigo accused Jon Jacobo, a community leader, of rape this morning in a tweet with an attached seven-page document, detailing the April 4 incident. The narrative includes text message screenshots, evidence of tests and a police report.

 “I was raped by a man I considered a close friend,” wrote Sasha Perigo. “That man was Jon Jacobo.” 

Jacobo, who has become increasingly prominent as chair of the health committee for the Latino Task Force, works for the TODCO Group, a housing nonprofit. He is also vice president of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District. Jacobo did not respond to our calls and has not yet issued a statement on Perigo’s allegations. 

UPDATE: At 7:07 p.m. tonight, Jacobo responded to the allegations on Twitter, writing that his memory of the events is different and that he believed the relationship was consensual. He also announced that he would be taking a leave from work and resigning from his commission post at Building Inspection Commission, effective immediately.

The post began, “I believe every woman needs to be heard. I believe every victim of trauma needs to be heard, and the process of speaking out is a part of healing and justice. And I am deeply saddened by the deep pain being experienced by Sasha Perigo, which she says I caused.”

Tweets from Jon Jacobo Friday evening.

Perigo clearly did not see the incident as consensual. As early as April 13, Perigo posted on Twitter that she had been raped, but it was only recently that she decided to reveal Jacobo’s name. 

In one tweet on June 20, she wrote, “Some rapists are in denial. Some rapists are so far in denial that they only they raped someone subconsciously. Some rapists never know they’re rapists. The rape is not less real no matter which camp the rapist falls into.”

Perigo, 26, said in a telephone interview this morning that she wasn’t originally planning to come forward, but that she learned about a pattern of troubling behavior by Jacobo with other women this summer. A few days ago, Perigo said she learned of another “malicious” incident involving Jacobo. She declined to share details of the incident.

In an effort to protect other women, but also to get closure for herself, she decided to share her account of what happened in April.  

“I am not a private person. I’m a writer, I have this social media platform — I’m like an oversharer, if anything, and having to sit and keep this quiet was just eating at me, and I felt like it was betraying myself,” Perigo told Mission Local. 

“I’ve kept this a secret from a lot of the people in my life because Jon is such a political figure,” Perigo said, adding that she kept running into Jacobo through mutual connections in the housing activist community. She mentioned that Jacobo has even consulted at her mother’s workplace. “And I didn’t want it to turn into a news story without my consent. And I decided to come forward to lift that weight off my shoulders, and be in control of the narrative.” 

Since April, Perigo said she has been suffering from PTSD, seeing a therapist three times a week, and took a medical leave of absence from a “prestigious contract” as a policy advisor for a nonprofit, losing out on more than $30,000 in wages. 

One person who is close to Jacobo, who asked for anonymity until better informed, said Jacobo denied the accusations earlier today. 

Jon Jacobo. Feb. 1, 2021. Photo by Lydia Chavez.

The eight members of the Latino Task Force’s executive committee, which does not include Jacobo, will be meeting and looking into the charges.

Calle 24 posted a statement to the community this afternoon reading, “As an organization, our values align with accountability and justice. Please allow time for the process to take place.”

Perigo was working with Tenants Together and was also co-chair of the Homelessness organizing committee with the Democratic Socialists of America. Perigo said today that she is taking a final course to finish her degree at Stanford University.

“She is a big local person” in the housing scene, said one source who knows the scene well. “She is not a nut case; she is credible.” 

Perigo and Jacobo met two years ago “through mutual friends in housing politics,” and became good friends, Perigo said. Perigo said she and Jacobo had once had a sexual relationship, but that she had “explicitly” ended it a couple of months before.

The incident, Perigo wrote, took place on the morning of Sunday, April 4, 2021, after she had stayed over at Jacobo’s place. She made it clear the evening before that she did not want to have sex — including in text messages before she arrived.

The two had been drinking on that Saturday evening, and Perigo said Jacobo offered to let her stay the night. “Once again, I communicated before accepting his offer that I didn’t want to have sex,” Perigo wrote. “So I was confused when seconds later, he was violating my boundaries.” 

It wasn’t until the next morning, though, that Perigo said the “badgering continued, more aggressively than the evening before. He ignored my dozens of nos, took off my pants, and raped me anyways.” 

Perigo told Mission Local that she does not plan to move forward with a police investigation for a couple reasons: “One, I have a lot of friends who’ve gone through filing or attempting to file charges with police, and have had very negative experiences,” Perigo said. “And then the other big thing for me is that, frankly, I do not like or trust the police.”

Even so, Perigo said that with the encouragement of a friend, she went to the hospital, was examined, and a police report was taken. She said she is grateful to have the evidence on record, as many victims of sexual assault don’t always have documentation to corroborate their experience.

The friend who took Perigo to the hospital, Annie Fryman, outlined in a memo how she supported Perigo, investigating her options, setting up an appointment, and passing along details of what the procedure would involve.  The memo describes a good friend stepping in to help a distraught Perigo to help her navigate what was in front of her, while giving Perigo the space to make her own decisions.

Having known each other since Perigo was 19 years old, Fryman said that in the last few months she’s seen a “noticeable change” in someone she knew as “exceptionally upbeat, motivated, loyal, and resourceful.” She and other friends would coordinate to send Perigo grocery deliveries to encourage her to eat. 

District 9 BART Board of Directors member Bevan Dufty appears to be the first public official to show public support for Perigo.

Perigo wrote one story for Mission Local in 2019 and she also had a column at The Examiner in 2019 and 2020.

Update. Saturday, 1:15 p.m.

District Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who is away from San Francisco, issued a statement Saturday morning, saying, “These allegations are very serious and I believe Sasha. Sexual assault is an epidemic and survivors have to have unusual courage to put themselves through any process of seeking justice and accountability. Doing so is often as traumatic as the violence itself. I am angry that Sasha and so many women and girls have to confront these terrible traumas.“

We will be updating the story throughout the day. The full document that Perigo attached to her tweet is below:

Jon Jacobo Can’t Have Any More Victims by MissionLocal on Scribd

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REPORTER. Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim nearly 10 years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

17 replies on “Jon Jacobo, prominent community leader, accused of rape (updated at 1:14 p.m. Saturday)”

  1. Every pic of him G’d up he’s got the same hand gesture. He’s a 1-4 hang around. Whatever, but geesh. A bit too slick to be climbing the SF political ladder so quickly. Seems like a little more due diligence regarding his ego might have been in order.

    Doesn’t matter now. Checkmate.

  2. This article is missing critical information that has been included in the San Francisco Chronicle piece.
    Mr. Jacobo has behaved abominably and should suffer the resulting consequences.
    That being said, based upon the more complete context furnished in the Chronicle article, Ms. Perigo’s decisions/actions are downright bizarre.

    1. Karl: We included Sasha’s full statement (both links to it and embedded) rather than paraphrase her throughout the article. It is an important statement and we thought readers would appreciate having it in full. Best, Lydia

  3. Because mixing politics and money for blood sport was not fraught enough, these two had the “good judgement” to throw sex into the mix. What could possibly go wrong? We live in a big city. It is really not that tough to exercise a modicum of discipline and find what you need afield from where the politics and money mix.

    Let’s recap sexual/domestic abuse of public figures in SF:

    1. Hayes-White, 2005, ‘private matter,’ no prosecution per desires of perp and victim, led to divorce.
    2. Julius Turman, 2006, ‘private matter,’ no prosecution per perp and victim, perp serves on SF Police Commission.
    3. Ross Mirkarimi, 2011, ‘public matter,’ prosecution against desires of victim and perp, still married with kids.
    4. Julian Davis, 2012 ‘public matter,’ vague allegations, no charges, craters supe campaign, no prosecution, alleged victim gets cush job at DEM.
    5. Jon Jacobo, 2021, ‘private matter,’ no prosecution as of yet per desire of victim.

    How the hell is anyone supposed to make sense of any of this mish mash?

    How are het men who are unclear on the concepts supposed to learn how to conduct themselves given this contradictory record?

    I always thought that under this system of law, criminal matters served the interests of the state, not of the victim.

    Apparently there are supremely political considerations that fold into the discretionary prosecution mix around here.

  4. Not the least bit surprised that someone uses supposed “community activism” to cover for their true bad intentions. Power is power. In the wake of the AG’s Cuomo report, this is no shock. SF progressive politics has a long history of misogyny (Chris Daly’s bar was the unofficial club house of the He-Man Woman-Haters Club – Daly does resemble Spanky) and it needs to be rooted out.

  5. So this woman “didn’t file a police report because of her fundamental opposition to law enforcement and her previous friendship with Jacobo”. If she won’t file a police report or involve the criminal justice system, does she really think making posts online are how to deal with this?

  6. He should be prosecuted. Others have been, for lesser offenses. Sasha needs to file a police report so this creep gets appropriate punishment & the permanent label he deserves as a sex offender. If she doesn’t file charges, it all blows over in a few months, he moves & continues his abuse in other communities.

  7. Sadly this story happens all too often. Most survivors do not have the support or social media platform skills to be heard this way. I’m glad this survivor stood up to tell her story. It will help so many others.

  8. Wow, this was just harrowing. My heart goes out to Sasha and her bravery in documenting evidence which will deter Jon from repeating this behavior. It’s out there now! Rapists in these types of circumstances- in my own experience- have major problems with strong and successful women and their insecurities enflame them until they take it out on women. When will it be okay and not a problem for women to win and insecure men to support them rather than hate them?

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. This was heartbreaking to read and I wish Sasha the best in her healing journey. May our community look out for you in these times.

  10. Jon Jacobo should resign from the Building Inspection Commission. If he doesn’t the Mayor should replace him.

  11. Unconscionable if the allegations are true, and I hope all affiliated with Jon ask themselves why they were not aware of or did not act to prevent this pattern of behavior from victimizing people in our community.

    In addition, it is very odd to print statements such as “she is not a nut-case” as they imply that some allegations should be interpreted as such by default.

    1. Women typically receive a _lot_ of harassment for going public with this kind of thing, so I see it as more of trying to avoid that from the get-go.

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