Assembly Candidate Accused of Domestic Violence 

An ex-girlfriend of AC Transit board member Joel Young says he hit her repeatedly. But Young says she attacked him. A judge, meanwhile, expresses doubts about both their stories.

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"How long have you been fucking?" Juarez yelled as the other woman hurriedly grabbed her belongings. The woman, according to Juarez, was unaware Young had a girlfriend. Once the woman exited the room, Juarez reported, Young brutally struck Juarez in the face and repeatedly plunged her head into the bed. Juarez said she then followed the other woman outside of the bedroom and quizzed her about her involvement with Young. According to Juarez, when she returned to the bedroom, Young again struck her in the face and "cranked" her head into the bed more forcefully than the first time. According to Young, however, Juarez had become so intense that he was forced to physically hold her down on the bed with hopes it would compel her to calm down.

"Stop! Stop! You're hurting me! I'm going to call the cops," Juarez said, by all accounts — although the other woman was no longer in the room.

After the other woman left the apartment and adrenaline from the altercation began to subside, Juarez said Young began apologizing and grabbed a chilled container from the freezer to contain the swelling on her face. "I have never done this before," said Young, according to Juarez. "I've been under a lot of pressure with work lately. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I fucked up this relationship."

Two days later, Juarez went to the emergency room at UCSF Medical Center. The medical report details injuries to Juarez's face and neck. She also complained of pain surrounding her right eye. Medical personnel feared that Juarez might have sustained damage to the orbital bone and ordered a CT scan, which ultimately came back negative. The medical report also makes reference to redness on her scalp.

Although the senior physician's assistant at UCSF's emergency room found the injuries non-threatening, she concluded that they were the result of domestic abuse. The physician's assistant stated in a sworn declaration to the court that the injuries "were consistent with the patient's allegation of assault" and "[i]n over 20 years of my professional treatment of injury patients in the emergency room, I have not seen such injuries associated with a claim of self-defense from the alleged assailant."

Although the physician's assistant filed a suspicious injury report and contacted the San Francisco Police Department's domestic violence investigation unit, she said that Juarez declined to speak to anyone in law enforcement during her emergency room visit. It's a common request of recent victims of domestic abuse, the physician's assistant said. "A majority of the domestic violence cases that I have seen in the emergency setting choose not to have police involved secondary to their own fear around retaliation by the assailant or related to some initial reluctance to accept that they are a victim of domestic violence," she said.

In addition, four of Juarez's colleagues, who are all attorneys, submitted sworn statements describing noticeable bruising on Juarez's face and her attempts to conceal the injuries with excessive amounts of makeup, along with noting that she was depressed in the days after the alleged incident.

By contrast, a good deal of Young's defense and his counterclaim that he was attacked has centered on portraying Juarez as attempting to destroy his legal and political career. As Juarez walked to her car on the morning of March 7, Young said she muttered, "I will get you back for this" before driving away and giving him the finger. (She admitted to flipping him off, but denied making that statement.)

Young has also claimed that Juarez and her former attorney attempted to extort money from him. Lawyers for Young claimed Juarez asked for $35,000 to settle the matter. However, a sworn declaration filed by Juarez's former lawyer provided a different account. On April 4, San Diego attorney David Rosenberg said he contacted Young's attorney urging for a settlement to the case. Rosenberg said Darryl Stallworth, Young's attorney at the time, was "optimistic" about the offer and said his client would be willing to remedy the woman's medical bills, agree to stay-away orders, and attend domestic violence classes. Rosenberg said he was surprised that Young then apparently changed his mind and filed a request for a restraining order against Juarez, claiming that he was the victim. In an interview, Young vehemently denied ever offering to attend domestic violence classes.

Although police were never summoned on March 7, Juarez later called a domestic violence hotline and talked to an Oakland police officer. And while Young has repeatedly claimed that Juarez was trying to destroy his career, she appears to have avoided the spotlight. She did not contact the Express, requesting a story, and, in fact, did not at first respond to this reporter's requests for an interview.

In addition, a colleague of Juarez, who is also a family law attorney, said in a declaration to the court that she accompanied Juarez to the police department and recalled that Juarez inquired if the police report would be a public record because she did not want her name linked to Young's for fear of retaliation. She also said Juarez never volunteered Young's name to police. In an August 17 filing, Juarez said she never brought the incident to the attention of the media for fear of reprisals from Young and his colleagues and supporters.

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