Content warning: This article contains references to rape and sexual assault.
Stanford undergraduate Sasha Perigo came forward with rape allegations against San Francisco activist Jon Jacobo on Friday morning. Jacobo is a prominent community leader and organizer who focuses on COVID-19 work with the city’s Latino Task Force.
The alleged assault took place on the morning of April 4, which Perigo outlined in a seven-page document attached to her original tweet. After an evening of drinking, Perigo decided to spend the night at Jacobo’s place. Despite telling Jacobo, a friend, multiple times that she did not want to have sex, Jacobo proceeded to pressure her for sex that night and raped her the next morning when they were both sober, Perigo alleged.
Neither Perigo nor Jacobo responded to a request for comment. But in a statement issued Friday afternoon, Jacobo wrote that he remembers that night with Perigo differently, writing that the relationship was “completely consensual.”
Despite his differing account of the events, Jacobo will take a leave of absence from his work and will resign from the Building Inspection Commission.
“After a lot of deliberation, I am choosing to talk about my assault publicly specifically because Jon has such a large platform. Jon cannot be allowed to use his platform to victimize women any longer,” Perigo wrote in her public statement, which included screenshots of text messages and a police report.
“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,” she added. “But moving on means accepting that Jon isn’t the person I thought he was. I need to free myself from the burden of shielding him from consequences.”
According to Perigo, she was not the only one who has experienced this type of behavior from Jacobo. Weeks later, Perigo wrote she had learned that Jacobo had “not only pushed boundaries with other women in the past, but was continuing to do so” after the two had talked.
Perigo is a housing activist in San Francisco. She currently works as a digital organizer for Tenants Together and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Perigo told Mission Local, a local news site in San Francisco, that she is taking a final course to finish her degree at Stanford, though her Twitter bio lists her as an alumna. A Stanford spokesperson confirmed she is enrolled as an undergraduate student.
Also a housing activist, Jacobo is commissioned by the San Francisco Mayor’s Office and currently serves as the Health Chair for the Latino Task Force, which he co-founded to help the Mission District through the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also the policy director for the affordable housing non-profit TODCO. He is known for helping marginalized communities fight COVID-19.
The allegations are another blow to a city already mired in controversy, coming two days after it was announced that San Francisco mayor London Breed would be fined close to $23,000 for ethics violations. The news also comes three days after a New York State Investigation Report found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women.
Politicians and community organizations in the city generally expressed support for Perigo — including District 9 BART Board of Directors member Bevan Dufty, District 6 Supervisor Matt Haney and Board of Supervisors member Shamann Walton — or at least hesitated to come out fully in support of Jacobo.
Calle 24, the cultural non-profit that Jacobo is vice president of, released a statement Friday afternoon regarding the allegations towards Jacobo: “As an organization, our values align with accountability and justice. Please allow time for our process.”
The Latino Task Force, TODCO and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office have yet to release statements regarding the allegations. They did not respond to The Daily’s request for comment.