GEORGE GASCÓN STATEMENT ON ALLEGATIONS BY SURVIVORS IN NETFLIX’S BIKRAM YOGA DOCUMENTARY
LOS ANGELES — Today, George Gascón released the following statement in response to allegtions by survivors of sex assault who decried the Los Angeles District Attorney’s lack of action in Netflix’s recently released documentary, “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator”:
“Sexual predators are often repeat offenders, and there are six women who have come forward with allegations related to the same man. That paints a very troubling picture. Unlike most other types of cases, California law allows sex crime survivors to testify as witnesses in order to establish a pattern of behavior or propensity to commit a crime. We must support all survivors, but from Harvey Weinstein to Ed Buck, Bill Cosby and now Bikram Choudhury, this DA has met a parade of victims with shrugged shoulders. I don’t know who will win this race, but I encourage the other candidates to join me in pledging to review the cases involving these predators. It does not matter who you are, how much money you have, or if you work in law enforcement, everyone must be held accountable for their actions.”
As San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón charged more than twice the national average of sexual assault cases and reduced the average days to conviction by over 20% in a single year between 2016 and 2017. He worked to ensure every rape kit in San Francisco was tested, implemented a Sexual Assault Response Team, enhanced office training and education on effective communication with survivors of sexual assault, created a campus sexual assault task force, and created a dedicated Child Abuse and Sexual Assault (CASA) Unit to prosecute sex crimes. He brought full-time facility dogs to the office to assist victims in the most difficult of circumstances, and implemented an annual Red Zone public education campaign to promote awareness around the first six weeks of school in which college students are 50 percent more likely to be sexually assaulted than they are at any other time. He worked with Colleges and Universities to create agreements with law enforcement and community based organizations to work together with victims in order to connect them with services as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not they choose to file a police report. Gascón also implemented a Safe Bars partnership which worked with staff and owners of bars, clubs and restaurants to implement a bystander intervention program.
George Gascón grew up in Los Angeles after his family immigrated from Cuba. An army veteran, Gascón served as a Los Angeles Police Department Officer for 30 years, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. In 2006 he became Chief of Police in Mesa, Arizona, where he stood up to the hateful and anti-immigrant policies of then Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In 2009, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Gascón Chief of Police. Newsom turned to Gascón again in 2011 when he tapped him to be District Attorney to fill the seat vacated by an outoing Kamala Harris who had been elected Attorney General. During his tenure Gascón implemented reforms that are being duplicated across the country while overseeing violent crime and homicides drop to rates not seen in 50 years. After being elected to two terms, Gascón returned to Los Angeles to care for his elderly mother and to be closer to his two daughters and grandchildren in Long Beach. Gascón is married to Fabiola Kramsky, a three-time Emmy Award winning journalist and recipient of the “Premio Nacional de Periodismo,” the highest recognition given to journalists in Mexico.