MAN FOUND GUILTY OF VICIOUS SEXUAL ASSAULT, FACES 64 YEARS TO LIFE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 19, 2015

Twitter: @GeorgeGascon

 

CONTACT:

 

Alex Bastian, (415) 553-1931

 

Maxwell Szabo, (415) 553-9089

 

 

 

 

 

MAN FOUND GUILTY OF VICIOUS SEXUAL ASSAULT, FACES 64 YEARS TO LIFE

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced that Damir Shalako, age 30 of San Francisco, was found guilty of five felonies including two counts of rape by force or violence, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object with force or violence, burglary with intent to commit rape, and first degree residential robbery with enhancements for committing these offenses during the commission of a burglary. Shalako faces 64 years to life in state prison.  

 

“This is absolutely horrific conduct that has no place in our society,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This is the most serious violation of the person, and it is a violation that he will face severe consequences for.”

 

According to court records, on September 28, 2010, at approximately, the victim returned home and noticed that her neighbor’s apartment door was wide open. The victim saw the Defendant, Damir Shalako, in the living room. The victim knew Shalako to be the grandson of her neighbor, but only had seen him one previous time and did not know his name. The victim asked Shalako if her neighbor was home and he said that she was in her room. The victim and her neighbor met briefly before the victim left and went to her apartment located in the unit directly above.

 

Shalako had just been released from prison after violating his parole following time served for a felony domestic violence charge.  He had been staying with his grandmother for a few days. The victim, now upstairs and inside her apartment, changed her clothes and made herself food when she heard a soft knock on her door. When she answered the door the Defendant was there and asked if he could use the victim’s bathroom because his grandmother’s was not working. The victim was reluctant but the Defendant said, “Please, I’ll be quick.” The victim told him to be quick and let the Defendant in, following him up the stairs. Officer Alex Rodatos later confirmed with Shalako’s grandmother that her toilet functioned properly.

 

After using the bathroom for a short time, the Defendant exited and looked into each bedroom.  The Defendant went into the victim’s bedroom and said, “Come in the bedroom, I want to show you something.” The victim walked towards the bedroom but stayed in the hallway.  The Defendant asked the victim to “sit here” and motioned towards the bed. After the victim declined, the Defendant grabbed her purse that was placed on a chair in the bedroom and, with an outstretched arm, asked, “Is this your purse?” The victim entered the room and grabbed the purse from the Defendant’s hand. The Defendant then punched the victim in the head and pushed her onto the bed and sexually assaulted her.  Shalako kept his hand around the victim’s neck during the assault.

 

After assaulting her, Shalako said, “Don’t yell and don’t call the police or I’ll kill you.”  Shalako got up and picked up the victim’s purse telling her, “I want all your money.” The Defendant subsequently punched her on the upper right-hand side of her face, causing her to bleed profusely. The victim’s purse contained cash and two rings, a cellular phone and her wallet that contained the victim’s driver license and various credit cards.

 

Shalako’s grandmother heard commotion that sounded like people struggling coming from the victim’s apartment upstairs. Martinez went upstairs to check on the victim and began banging on the door yelling for her to, “open the door, open the door!” but the door was locked.  The neighbor kept banging on the door and could hear the victim calling the neighbor’s name for help.  Shalako finally opened the door from within the victim’s apartment with an “enraged” look on his face and his body sweaty. The neighbor tried to stop the Defendant from leaving by holding on to him; however, Shalako pushed her aside with his right hand and ran out of the apartment complex with the purse.

 

Shalako’s grandmother noticed the victim was only wearing a blouse with no pants and was bleeding on the right side of her forehead and chin. The neighbor asked the victim if she was raped because she was naked from the waist down, which she responded, “uh-huh.” The neighbor instructed the victim to put on pants and to not take a shower, she then went inside her own apartment and called the police.

 

Immediately upon hearing the 911 dispatcher’s voice, the neighbor interrupted the dispatcher to exclaim, “hurry up! My neighbor has been raped, neighbor has been rape!”  The neighbor quickly provided her address and began describing the scene so quickly she often talked over herself “it was my grandson! It was my grandson! It was a…hurry!...Send the police, send the police!”  She continued, “Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!” “Bring an ambulance!” “Oh my God!” and “Hurry, please, I’m afraid for my life!” 

 

Upon approaching the police with the victim, the neighbor blurted out, “You have to catch him! My grandson dis (sic) this to her!”  As the Defendant fled, San Francisco Police arrived in response to an unrelated call in an adjacent apartment. SFPD officers observed the Defendant walking away quickly from the apartment complex after they made eye contact. The officers had recognized him from a prior contact from that very morning where they learned he had just been released from prison. Just as the officers saw the victim appear from the same area of the apartment complex, holding a towel on her head attempting to control blood emanating from her head, the Defendant began sprinting away from the scene. The officers pursued the Defendant on foot to no avail. The grandmother, who was crying and holding the victim, told the responding officers, “You have to catch him. My grandson did this to her (the victim).”  SFPD officers noticed that the victim’s face was swollen and she was bleeding on her face.  They inspected the victim’s apartment and noticed blood drops at the bottom of the stairs and in the living space at the top of the stairs. They also noticed that the bedroom was in disarray and that the sheets were clustered on the bed.

 

On October 1, 2010, the Defendant was arrested by officers who found, among other things, two rings. The rings were subsequently identified by the victim. SFPD Criminalist David Jackson performed a genetic analysis test on the sexual assault evidence kit from the victim on February 1, 2010. The results of the test matched the DNA of Shalako.

 

“This is a dangerous individual who is a major threat to public safety,” said ADA Omid Talai who prosecuted the case.  “We’re grateful to the jury for their service, and for the victim’s strength and courage to come forward and ensure this man was held accountable.”

 

A date for sentencing will be set on July 20th. This successful prosecution would not have been possible without the exemplary work of retired Inspector Maryanne Lowman, Victim Advocate Peter Huynh, and Law Clerk Esther Townes. 

 

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