Rachel Marshall / (415) 416-4468 / Rachel.Marshall@sfgov.org
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced that Julius Berry, 29, of San Francisco, was found guilty by a jury of 8 felonies, including mayhem, 3 counts of domestic violence, 2 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 2 counts of false imprisonment, for various incidents over multiple years where he burned his girlfriend’s face and neck with a lit cigarette, stabbed her in her thigh and abdomen with scissors, and bound and gagged her while holding an electric drill to her temple.
“One of the highest priorities of my office is to support survivors of domestic violence and to hold their abusers accountable,” said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. “We will not tolerate domestic violence in San Francisco. If you or a loved one is a survivor in immediate danger, please contact 911 immediately.”
“Horrific violence such as what we see in this case requires accountability for the abuser and support for the survivor. We applaud the efforts from the District Attorney’s Office for bringing this case to trial. The community stands ready to assist survivors with services and support. If you are being abused, you are not alone. Please reach out. San Francisco’s domestic violence crisis line is available 24 hrs a day at (877) 384-3578.” – Beverly Upton, Executive Director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium.
According to Court documents, Mr. Berry began dating the survivor in 2014. Starting in 2015, he became physically abusive and the violence escalated over the years, including incidents where Mr. Berry restrained the survivor using zip ties and beat her head and face. Trial testimony proved that the defendant used weapons against the survivor, including stabbing her with scissors in her thigh and threatening her with a power drill. On one occasion, the defendant permanently scarred the survivor’s neck and face with a lit cigarette. Although the survivor did not reach out for help until many years later, she did document these incidents and photographed many of her injuries. The wounds to her neck, face and thigh have left permanent scars.
In April of 2018, the defendant woke up the victim, gagged her mouth, zip tied her arms and legs together and threatened to kill her with a power drill. In an effort to escape, and while still partially zip tied, the survivor jumped out of the second-story bedroom window on the concrete driveway below. She severely injured herself. The defendant came outside and carried her back indoors. He called 911 and she was taken to the hospital. Upon being asked how she sustained her injuries, the survivor denied any domestic violence.
In January of 2019, the survivor obtained a civil restraining order and contacted the SFPD for assistance. Once law enforcement was notified, the case was immediately investigated and the defendant was arrested and charged shortly thereafter.
“This result could not have been achieved without the courage and strength of this survivor; first in coming forward after years of mental and physical abuse, and then by standing up in court to reveal to us her story as a survivor,” said Assistant District Attorney Maia Maszara, who prosecuted the case. “It’s imperative for the vulnerable of San Francisco, regardless of race, ethnicity or background, to know they can put their faith in the justice system. There is power in every voice.”
Mr. Berry was found guilty on the above referenced charges by the jury. He was in court today and will be back in court on December 14 for sentencing. These convictions were the result of diligent work done by Assistant District Attorneys Maia Maszara and Rachel McDaniel. The investigation was led by Sgt. Ramonik Johal of the San Francisco Police Department. Invaluable assistance was provided by Victim Advocate Melissa Curiel, as well as District Attorney Investigators Doug Keely and Steve Tull and Paralegal Melissa Ortiz. Most importantly, we would also like to acknowledge the courage of the survivor who came forward and testified at trial.
For survivors in need of services, the SFDA Victim Services Division is ready to help. Our office serves hundreds of survivors every year. Please call us at 1-628-652-4100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information and assistance.