Novato man sentenced in rape case

A Novato man who allegedly raped a woman while attending a party in Foster City was confronted by the victim in court Tuesday before receiving a three-year prison term.

Jason Cunningham, 41, hung his head while the victim exploded into tears as she attempted to read out loud her account of what happened on Nov. 19 of last year. Cunningham allegedly raped her in the bedroom of her boyfriend’s house while she slept during the party. Cunningham was a friend of the victim’s boyfriend.

The victim could not get past the first sentence of her written statement. It was then given to Deputy District Attorney Greg Devitt to read in front of a crowded courtroom that soon became silent.

“Jason was under the influence of alcohol when he raped me,” Devitt read from the statement. “I feel I was not his first rape victim and nor will I be his last.”

In the statement, the victim, who did not want to share her name, said that after the incident, she feared that Cunningham would stalk her. She was afraid to tell her boyfriend. Anytime she drove, she obsessively checked her rearview mirror. She was so distressed that she could not concentrate at her job. She was laid off in February.

Cunningham, who has a history of DUIs and an assault charge on his record, was seeking probation. He had previously claimed the sex was consensual, something Devitt flatly disputed. Cunningham, who formerly worked as a legal assistant, was in custody on $250,000 bail.

“I am sick to my soul for what happened and I hope she will forgive me and move on,” he told Judge John Grandsaert. “I am truly sorry. I ask for your mercy today.”

Grandsaert denied probation and told Cunningham, “You will have plenty of time to get your life in order, but the victim may not.”

Devitt praised the victim for making a statement Tuesday.

“I think it’s courageous for any woman to come forward after being raped, let alone confronting her attacker,” he said. “It was very important for the judge and the defendant to see how this impacted her.”

bfoley@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Most Read