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.”
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.
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.
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: