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A California woman who survived a brutal rape and assault is telling her horrific story as a warning to other women.
On July 31, Marissa Young was walking her two 13-year-old dogs late at night in the Torrance neighborhood of Los Angeles. She had just finished her shift at a nearby restaurant.
While walking near the Nova Community Church, a man attacked her from behind.
“I was tackled from behind, I heard nothing,” Young told KTLA. “I didn’t have headphones in, I wasn’t looking at my phone, I was just walking straight forward to my destination.”
The man forced her to the ground and began beating and raping Young.
She screamed for help, “I’m being raped! I’m being killed!”
“I was barrel-rolled around and continuing to try to fight this person off,” she told KTTV. “At one point he had me on my back with his fingers around my neck, and held me down real close here and was strangling me, and sort of let me know that ‘I have control – if you don’t stop screaming and yelling, I’ll kill you.'”
Young said, “I fought back like crazy – I did everything to get this person off of me. I bit his fingers, I tried to push him off of me.”
“He asked – well told – me to perform oral sex on him, which is when I bit his penis as hard as I could – to try to bite it off in the hopes that he would run away,” Young explained. “It did not come off – it just injured him severely – it just angered him and enraged him. He beat me even more severely. He was able to continue the rape even though he was severely injured in that sense.”
“This person punched me in the face, closed-fisted, 15 to 20 times at least,” Young said of the brutal attack. “My nose is broken in four different places, and this bone was shattered here [she points to her upper cheek area]. You can still see a lot of swelling in my face.”
The vicious sexual attack lasted an agonizing 30 minutes. Marissa said of the violent rape, “This is a nightmare, just let me wake up from it.”
“For whatever reason, he decided not to kill me and said, ‘You can go now,’ and pointed out my keys in the grass,” Marissa said.
The bloodied sexual assault survivor was naked from the waist down. She ran to a nearby home – where she had to persuade the resident to let her inside and call 911.
The attack left Marissa missing teeth and suffering broken bones, deep bruises, and emotional scars. She was partially blind for about a month after the gruesome attack. Young’s agonizing injuries required five surgeries.
The alleged attacker is 46-year-old Darrell Waters – described as a local homeless man. He was arrested by police within 36 hours of the attack.
Waters was charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by use of force. He is now being held without bail.
KTTV reported that Waters was released from jail for a misdemeanor just hours before the alleged attack. He was charged with unlawful possession of a dagger.
The Torrance City Attorney’s Office said Waters release by the Torrance Police Department was “in accordance with the penal code.”
Young said of her alleged assailant’s release, “It makes me angry. It’s horrifying to think that they were holding this guy with a huge knife that was taken off him that’s illegal and he was let go the next day even though he has a record.”
A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help pay for medical expenses from the attack.
Marissa is trying to forgive her attacker.
“Because I understand that what he did to me was not personal, I want to get to a point where I try to understand that he is a cycle of abuse, and that what he did to me was done to him,” she said. “I think that staying angry with someone who did this to me who doesn’t know me – I could have been anybody – it’s sort of fruitless.”
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