Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas Holds Domestic Abusers Accountable 

But a Silicon Valley tycoon nearly put her Berkeley nonprofit out of business.

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"In the criminal action, Clyde Berg was found factually innocent. The Hon. Ron M. Del Pozzo stated that Ellena Bondesson's 'testimony was unworthy of belief.' Ms. Bondesson thereafter pursued a civil action against Mr. Berg. Mr. Berg prevailed in the trial of the civil action. A jury of Ms. Bondesson's peers returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Berg on his malicious prosecution cause of action against Ms. Bondesson."

For her part, Bondesson said she remains fearful of future litigation or harassment from Berg. While she says she has set up methods to keep Berg from finding or contacting her, her mother continues to receive communication from him.

"My life has been very tough since the ordeal," she wrote in an email to the paper. "There is no way for me to protect myself and my daughter from the harassment Mr. Berg subjects us to continuously."


Kendra Scott called 911 at 2:41 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2014, to report abuse by her then-fiancé, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald.

"Hello. I'd like to press for a domestic violence ... my fiancé ... he's trying to pull me out of the house ... he's drunk.... I think he's calling the cops, he, he's trying to get me out," she told the 911 dispatcher, according to a memo from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office explaining its decision not to charge McDonald.

At the time, the National Football League was facing a fierce backlash over domestic violence by players. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice had been arrested for assaulting his fiancée in an Atlantic City hotel in an incident that was captured on video. It showed Rice punching her unconscious and then dragging her out of an elevator. Two days before McDonald's arrest, the NFL lengthened its suspensions for domestic violence from two games to six.

The Ravens terminated Rice's contract not long after McDonald's arrest, but the 49ers allowed McDonald, who was coming off one of his best seasons, to keep playing, with then head coach Jim Harbaugh lecturing reporters about due process under the law.

The McDonald domestic violence incident also exposed potentially improper relationships between the 49ers and members of the San Jose Police Department. Some officers had been moonlighting as private security for the team, including Sgt. Sean Pritchard who, while still on duty, was referred to McDonald's house the night of his arrest by 49ers security.

McDonald had been celebrating his 30th birthday and called the team's security detail because he said he was concerned that some women he had met the night before had come to his house.

Scott had been asleep upstairs when a friend told her that there were other women at the party getting too friendly with McDonald. She went downstairs to confront them and eventually ended up in a physical altercation. Scott told investigators she pushed McDonald first, but McDonald said she hit him multiple times with a closed fist. According to court documents, he grabbed her arms to restrain her, causing visible injuries. He then tried to forcibly remove her from the house, at one point grabbing her neck, again injuring her.

Two minutes before Scott's 911 call, McDonald called Pritchard personally and said, "I need to get this female out of my house."

Without eyewitnesses, the District Attorney's Office concluded that Scott — a 5-foot-7, 125-pound woman — was in mutual combat with McDonald — a 6-foot-3, 290-pound NFL player who had 29 tackles in 2013.

"I was afraid to come forward," Scott said in a recent phone interview. "In a sense, I didn't feel the way the investigation was happening — with all the allegations and the relationship he had with the police and the NFL and all of that — I didn't feel like I had the support I needed from the police."

In addition to the lack of eyewitness evidence, the district attorney's office also reported that Scott had declined to cooperate with further aspects of the investigation. Scott told the Express that at the time, she was still seeking to protect McDonald and was afraid that pursuing a criminal case could cost McDonald his job with the 49ers.

"It's hard to have your name and face and private matters be in public light and having outsiders make judgment on your life," she added.

Scott's lawsuit against McDonald, filed in July, describes a much more extensive history of alleged abuse than had previously been publicly disclosed. They started dating in 2012 and got engaged and moved in together in February 2014. Shortly after that, he started calling her names such as "whore" and "gold digger," the suit alleges.

In March of that year, they got into a fight while on their way home and McDonald forced her out of the car, leaving her stranded for two hours until he came back to pick her up. In May, Scott was at a party at a bar in Burlingame when McDonald dragged her out of the bar and into his car. In June, he hit Scott and a friend she was with, and then he dragged Scott down the stairs, according to the suit. She fell and hit her head on the cement outside, knocking her unconscious. The assault caused bruises on her face and arms, according to the suit. In July, he body-slammed her, dragged her across the floor, and punched her in the face, she said. She escaped to a fast food restaurant and got ice for her face, which was bleeding and swollen.

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