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Court Records Reveal Willits Man Accused of Rape and Attempted Murder of 61-Year-Old Woman has History of Violence

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23-Year-Old Jose Miguel Perez [Mugshot from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs]

Readers, proceed with caution. This story describes brutal violence against women.

23-year-old Willits man Jose Miguel Perez currently sits in the Mendocino County jail facing charges difficult to speak of because of their brutality. On October 10, 2021, Perez, as described in a press release from Willits Police Department, allegedly beat and sexually assaulted a 61-year-old woman in the darkness of a Grocery Outlet parking lot.

This woman was airlifted to the University of California, Davis Medical center due to the extent of her injuries.

Perez’s alleged attack, as described in a letter to the editor composed by her son, was characterized as a violent rape that left “her skull crushed.”

Perez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on October 14, 2021, after investigators tied him to the crime charging him with attempted murder, attempted rape, kidnapping, and bodily injury, and violation of probation.

Court documents reveal that the brutal attack was not the first time Perez has been alleged to have attacked someone. In January 2020, he was charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery after an incident where he physically harmed both a man and woman.

Perez successfully fought the charges and pled down to two counts of PC415, which describes, “Any person who unlawfully fights in a public place or challenges another person in a public place to fight. (2) Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise.” 

This resulted in a 36-month probation term that is now being reviewed due to the charges that stem from the alleged crimes committed on October 10.

As per the latest criminal complaint filed by the Mendocino County District Attorney, Perez will stand trial for five serious felonies with numerous special allegations which often result in an increased prison sentence if the defendant is found guilty of committing them.

The first count of felony “first degree, premeditated, willful, and deliberate attempted” murder has an attached special allegation stating the attack “caused the victim to become comatose due to brain injury or to – suffer paralysis ‘of a permanent nature,”

Another mugshot of Perez from another arrest in Mendocino County

The second count Perez faces is the felony of “kidnapping to commit rape” which asserts he “willfully and unlawfully kidnap[ped] and carr[ied] away [the victim] with the intent to commit rape.”

The third count, also a felony, accuses Perez of “assault with the intent to commit rape” in which he “willfully and unlawfully assault[ed] [the victim], with the intent to commit Rape.”

The fourth and fifth counts are for the same crime as the third, “assault with the intent to commit rape,” but both make specific notes that these alleged acts were “separate and distinct acts.”

Two special allegations are attached to the fifth count. One accuses Perez of  “great bodily injury on the person of another in the commission or attempted commission of Murder, Kidnapping, and/or Assault with Intent to Commit Rape.”

The other special allegation is a result of the victim’s age stating, “Perez, during the commission of the above offenses, did commit a crime against a person who is 60 years of age or older and during the Course of the offense inflicted great bodily injury.”

The son of the victim of these horrific circumstances provided us with a letter to the editor that provided a broader context to this crime. He described this crime as eliciting “hate and anger” towards both the perpetrator and the “system that governs us.” 

He went on to describe his mother’s struggle with mental health and drug addiction while finding scant community resources to steer her towards healing and sobriety. He reflected on a world where, “This monster who did this to my mother will now be afforded a bed, a roof over his head, meals, medical care (including mental health), and many other basic needs met.”

According to a 2002 study by Myhill and Allen entitled, “Rape and sexual assault of women: the extent and nature of the problem,” the vast majority of rape  (83%) experienced by women is committed by someone who the victim knows. Only 21% are characterized as “stranger rapes”, more closely resembling this incident in Willits.

The ubiquity of this experience is horrifying and unfortunately is not necessarily represented in media coverage of violence against women.

A 2019 study from Australia’s BMC Public Health concluded coverage of violence against women often emphasizes the law enforcement, political, and criminal justice perspective of the incidents finding “reporting that promotes public understanding of the issue is not always the norm.”

Please, if you or anyone you know are experiencing any form of violence, consider contacting or forwarding some of the resources available for victims of violence here in Mendocino County: 

  • Mendocino County Witness Program
    • “Provides assistance to crime victims and witnesses involved in the criminal justice system.”
    • Contact: (707) 463-4218
  • Project Sanctuary
    • The mission is to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, crisis response, community collaboration, education, and shelter.”
    • Ukiah Office Info: 564 S. Dora Street, Suite A-1 Ukiah, CA 95482 Crisis Line: 707 463-4357 (HELP) Office Line(707) 462-9196
    • Fort Bragg Office Info: 461 North Franklin Street Fort Bragg, CA 95437 Crisis Line:707 964-4357 (HELP) Office Line:(707) 961-1507 
  • Love is Respect
    • “Love is respect is the national resource to disrupt and prevent unhealthy relationships and intimate partner violence by empowering young people through inclusive and equitable education, support, and resources.”
    • Contact: (866) 331-9474 
    • Text: LOVEIS to 22522

Finally, with due respect to the victim of the circumstances described, it must be stated that the charges described have not been proven in a court of law. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any individual described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Sean, why don’t you just go to N Europe?
    Oh yeah…there are people of color there too.
    There’s nowhere left for you to go…poor guy.

    Your racism and xenophobia are disgusting and won’t last here either.

  2. I JUST HEARD OF THIS TODAY. I FEEL TERRIBLE THAT I DID NOT HEAR OF IT BEFORE. BUT I WILL TELL YOU THAT I STAND 1000% WITH THE SON’S COMMENT REGARDING WHAT THIS ” PERSON ” AND I USE THE TERM LOOSELY, IS GOING TO GET… MEALS SHELTER, COMPARED TO WHAT HIS MOTHER NEVER GOT. I KNOW THIS PERSONALLY BECAUSE I TRIED HELPING THE FAMILY TO GET HER THE RESOURCES TO GET THE HELP SHE NEEDED. EVERY DOOR WAS SLAMMED IN OUR FACE…THE TRUTH OF THESE SO CALLED RESOURCES IS THAT THEY HAVE ALL TYPES OF REQUIREMENTS, AND “OH SORRY WE DON’T DO THIS OR THAT…” YOU CAN CALL YOURSELF A RESOURCE ALL DAY LONG BUT IF YOU DON’T DO SOMETHING THEN YOU’RE JUST EMPTY WORDS ON A PIECE OF PAPER. IF SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN AFFORDED THE HELP SHE NEEDED SHE WOULD NOT BE IN THIS PLACE…IF THE FAMILY COULD HAVE GOTTEN JUST ONE “YES” SHE COULD HAVE BEEN WHO SHE USED TO BE…A GOOD MOM A LOVING PERSON. THIS TOWN OF WILLITS HAS KNOWN THIS WOMAN FOR MANY YEARS AND THERE ARE MORE IN HER SITUATION THAT ARE NOT GETTING HELP BECAUSE THERE ARE” HOOPS TO JUMP THROUGH TO GET HELP ” WHAT KIND OF HELP IS THAT? I WILL TELL YOU…NO HELP…TOM ALLMAN STOOD TO HELP IN SOME WAY AND HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE HIS DREAM HAS BEEN ON HOLD? WHY DID IT TAKE SO MUCH “RED TAPE?” BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS THE POPULATION WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IN “THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD” NEWSFLASH!!! THEY HAVE BEEN IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD..SLEEPING IN YOUR BACKYARD, SHEDS, EMPTY HOUSES, THE POST OFFICE WHEN ITS FREEZING COLD…THE PARKS…YEARS AGO I WENT TO CITY COUNCIL WITH A FRIEND TO ASK FOR A SHELTER…OTHER FOLKS HAVE DONE THE SAME ..ANSWER ” WE WANT INVESTORS TO COME HERE…IF YOU BUILD A SHELTER MORE HOMELESS AND MENTALLY IMPAIRED WILL COME..” AGAIN,”NEWSFLASH!!!THEY ARE ALREADY HERE!! THE MENTAL IMPAIRMENTS AND DRUGS WILL GET WORSE OR EVEN START FROM BEING IN THE ELEMENTS FOR SO LONG..THERE IS NO HOPE,NO LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.I DO NOT KNOW THIS MALE PERSON WHO DID THIS…BUT WHAT I DO KNOW IS THAT I WOULD BE ASHAMED TO BE THE LAWYER THAT HELPED REDUCE HIS FIRST CHARGES OF VIOLENCE AND ANYONE ELSE WHO HAD A HAND IN LETTING HIM GO FREE…ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? ARE YOU BRAGGING TO YOUR FRIENDS NOW ABOUT YOUR VICTORY?WANT TO SHOUT OUT YOUR NAMES SO OTHERS JUST LIKE HIM GO TO YOU FOR ANOTHER FREEBEE AT VIOLENCE? I WONDER HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IF THIS WAS YOUR MOTHER THAT THIS HAPPENED TO? THAT RIGHT THERE IS THE PROBLEM…UNTIL IT HAPPENS TO YOU…… THE TERM “CRIMINAL JUSTICE” NEEDS A NEW DEFINITION AND WE NEED SOMETHING CALLED “VICTIM JUSTICE”…WITH THE DEFINITION..NOT 3 STRIKES / BUT ONLY ONE, 1 STRIKE YOU DO TIME…YOU DON’T GET A FREE PASS..YOU DON’T GET ANOTHER NOTCH IN YOUR BELT IN THE FORM OF.. “ANOTHER VICTIM. I STILL WORK WITH THE HOMELESS POPULATION AND STILL HAVE CLOSED DOORS. THIS TOWN COULD SET A PRESIDENCE…IT COULD SHOW OTHER COMMUNITIES WHAT IT CAN DO FOR IT’S CITIZENS…ALL OF THEM…I WOULD WILLINGLY HELP AND I KNOW OTHERS WHO WORK IN THE SHADOWS HERE TRYING TO HELP THE MENTALLY IMPAIRED AND HOMELESS, THAT WOULD BE WILLING TO HELP…BUT IT TAKES THE TOWNS LEADERS TO SAY “YES..HOW CAN WE HELP?” IT TAKES A LOT TO RAISE A FAMILY..IT TOOK A LOT TO RAISE YOU..IT TAKES A VILLAGE…WE ARE THE VILLAGE AND ALL OF US ARE THE FAMILY…GOD BLESS YOU WHO READ THIS WHETHER OR NOT YOU AGREE…BUT JUST REMEMBER WE ARE ALL VULNERABLE AND IN LIFE IT WILL NOT ALWAYS BE YOUR MONEY THAT SAVES YOU..I AM OVERWHELMED TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE I DON’T ALWAYS GET BACK TO PEOPLE QUICKLY, I HAVE MY OWN FAMILY TRAGEDIES GOING ON..BUT IT IS MY PASSION ..MY LIFE TO SEE THAT I DID NOT GET TO WHERE I AM AT WITHOUT MY PARENTS AND ALL THAT THEY SACRIFICED, ALL THAT I WAS TAUGHT..I AM MY BROTHERS KEEPER

    • 💔 Priscilla! Your post PUNCHED me right in the heart! I am broken over the condition of our county also. And the lack of “real” help for those in need crushes my spirit.

      Those who don’t want to help fine let them stay out in the element doing the drugs and crime. And deal with them accordingly. But those who do need help let’s get them some one and done phone call away actual literal help. Housing, rehab, restorative help!

      The same mercy we show is the same mercy we will get from the God of the universe when we stand before him.period.that should be a motivator if nothing else motivates you.

      We are all human and everybody needs at least a basic place to be safe and warm where they will not be harassed by anyone.

      The earth belongs to God so those that hold deeds to the land you can’t take it with you when you die start helping people , do what you can do and let the rest of us volunteer like Priscilla said , please.

      Get rid of the red tape and bureaucracy

      People are all in different stages. Some need a shower. Some need to sleep. Some need to get warm. Some need to use the restroom. Some will go back out and do their thing. And others are tired and need a place to go where they can start getting their life back on track. I know I was one of those people. 💔💔💔

  3. That’s for real girl the help is all hot air and so minimal as to what the mentally ill actually need that the paperwork game turns people away from the system and there the struggle begins as the family takes it on and from there life is never the the same for the brothers,sisters,parents and all extended family. Everybody has got problems, can’t compare them but some have more catastrophic outcomes. This story is so sad hopefully some peace can be found for the family of this woman, she and her family deserved so much more.

    • Does anybody know of Cold-weather shelters in Mendocino County? We have temperatures in the 20s forecasted over Christmas. Where can the UNhoused go to NOT freeze to death Over Christmas? Are all the normal year around shelters full? I was told that the Ukiah shelter is full.

  4. call Manzanita Services and they will check for you / i did call. ask them about housing and ask for Bobbi-
    Dawn.. it takes awhile but get it started. they are building more low income apts. in Ukiah.ask about that.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs told.

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