Prominent SF political figure Jon Jacobo, the co-founder of the Latino Task Force and a member of the Building Inspection Commission, was asked to step down from his role on the commission late last week following the revelation of a serious sexual assault allegation against him.
A woman who says that Jacobo raped her on April 4 after she spent the night at his home made her allegation public via Twitter on Friday, in a detailed account that includes contemporaneous text messages she exchanged with Jacobo and with friends.
"Prior to my rape, I considered Jon a great friend and a great person, which is why it's so important for me to come forward," the woman, housing activist and Stanford student Sasha Perigo, said. She added in her statement, "One of the reasons I kept this story to myself for so long is that I didn’t want to hurt Jon by coming forward. I cared about him deeply, and I’ll forever be heartbroken that someone I once admired could violate me in this way."
Mission Local subsequently reported on the assault allegation. As the Examiner reports, Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton said his office is discussing legal options with the city attorney, and he said he had asked for Jacobo's resignation from the Building Inspection Commission, which he received.
In a statement on Twitter, Walton said, "My thoughts go out to the victim for her courage and bravery for speaking out on this awful situation that no one should ever experience. We must support women who are victims of sexual assault."
Jacobo responded to the allegation himself on Twitter Friday evening, saying, "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."
He continued, "My memory of these events is different than her memory. I believed then, as I do now, that our relationship was completely consensual. In April, we attempted a restorative process and I will continue to work to understand why and how she feels I caused her harm."
Perigo said in her account that she had previously had a sexual relationship with Jacobo, but they remained friends and she was explicit that she did not want to have sex when she went to his apartment on the night of April 3. She says she reiterated this when he invited her to stay the night rather than brave a late-night Uber, and she says that the next morning Jacobo assaulted her while she repeatedly told him to stop.
In addition to his roles at the Latino Task Force and the Building Inspection Commission, Jacobo works as policy director for Tenants and Owners Development Corporation (TODCO), a nonprofit community development corporation and affordable housing advocacy group based in SoMa.
Photo via Jon Jacobo/Twitter