Categories: Bay Area Crime

Outside Lands attendee sues event organizer, S.F. over rape allegations

A woman who says she was raped and robbed at last year's Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park is suing event organizers and The City for lax security.

The assault occurred Aug. 11, the second day of the three-day festival, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Bowles & Verna LLP, the Walnut Creek firm representing the victim, a Southern California resident whom The San Francisco Examiner is not naming.

Few details have been released about the incident.

The woman was sexually assaulted in a “wooded area” within the concert grounds by an unknown number of assailants, the lawsuit claims. Her neck was bruised and her backpack was stolen during the attack, it says.

“Despite the fact that the assault occurred over a long period and plaintiff resisted, no Outside Lands security personnel came to her aid in any way,” the lawsuit states.

While “Draconian” security measures were used to prevent ticketless patrons from entering the concert grounds, according to lawsuit, lawlessness ensued inside without interruption.

The area where the attack occurred should have been better patrolled by security, which could have prevented or stopped the incident, according to the plaintiff's attorneys.

“It was foreseeable that, given the expected atmosphere of a music festival, patrons of Outside Lands might utilize such areas to engage in criminal activity,” the lawsuit says.

Ken Weinstein, a spokesman for Berkeley-based festival organizer Another Planet Entertainment, said Thursday that the company could not comment on pending litigation. He did say that “the safety and security of our patrons and staff is always an important concern.”

At last year's Outside Lands, three attendees ranging from 18 years old to mid-20s reportedly told police they had each been sexually assaulted. Two of the alleged attacks occurred Saturday and the other early Sunday, police said. One reportedly took place near a set of white tents, another near prop windmills and the third in bushes near the Polo Field.

In each case, police said, the victims did not remember many facts due to possible intoxication.

Despite the reports, police have said sexual assaults are rare at the festival, which was attended by more than 60,000 people on each of the three days it ran last year.

SF Examiner

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