Police Arrest Man for Sexual Assault

Published on April 14, 2021

Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested a man over the weekend for committing a sexual assault in a downtown parking lot.

On Friday, April 9, 2021, at about 9:18 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from the victim (a woman in her seventies) wanting to report harassment by a man known to her that was occurring on an ongoing basis at Cogswell Plaza, located at 264 Lytton Avenue.  The man was not present at the time.  Officers responded and interviewed the woman, who lives in the downtown area with all her belongings.

The victim reported that at around 10 p.m. on Monday, April 5, 2021, she was sleeping in City Parking Lot “C” at 451 Ramona Street, adjacent to Cogswell Plaza.  She was awakened by the suspect, whom she knew from previous interactions on the street.  The suspect demanded sexual intercourse from her and she refused.  The suspect then punched her, kicked her, and held her down while he sexually assaulted her.  When a car drove into the parking lot, the suspect fled on foot.  The victim reported no physical injury beyond pain as a result of the suspect kicking her.

On Saturday, April 10, 2021, at about 8:45 a.m., officers were conducting follow-up investigation with the victim in the 400 block of Ramona Street when they located the suspect walking down the street.  They arrested him without incident.

Police booked 58-year-old Anthony Ray Drayton of East Palo Alto into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration, elder abuse, false imprisonment, and criminal threats (all felonies).  The suspect is on post-release community supervision out of San Mateo County for a prior conviction of felony assault on a police officer; officers also placed him on a probation hold.  His booking photo is attached to this release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

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