A felon accused of kidnapping and raping a young woman walking home after a night out in the Mission district will go to trial after a judge found that “satisfactory evidence to support the belief” he committed the crimes had been presented at a preliminary hearing.
The court heard that Kevin Lindsey, 42, approached the woman in the early hours of August 5, 2023 and offered her a ride home in his SUV. Rather than take her home, though, he drove her to a dark alley and sexually assaulted her. She later escaped after he parked at a gas station – running towards a Good Samaritan who drove her away to safety.
“The only logical inference is that this was rape,” said San Francisco Superior Court Judge Teresa Caffese this afternoon. “I think the fact that she was transported to an alley, and that’s where the rape occurred, does elevate this to [an aggravated kidnapping].”
Lindsey was held to answer on both counts of the complaint and ordered to appear before presiding criminal judge Rochelle East on November 28 at 9:00am.
He remains in custody.
“He seemed like a regular guy.”Victim
SFPD officer Lee Johnson testified that he arrived at San Francisco General Hospital at 7:30am on August 5, 2023 to interview the victim – a woman in her mid-twenties. She told him that, hours earlier, she had left a bar and began walking north on Valencia Street towards her residence. At the intersection of 14th Street she was approached by a man in a black SUV who offered to drive her home.
Although the man did not initially arouse her suspicion – “he seemed like a regular guy,” she told Johnson – his attitude changed immediately after she had entered the vehicle.
The defendant, said the victim, drove her into an alley and told her she wasn’t going home until she had sex with him. He then got in to the back of the vehicle with her.
“She told me that she didn’t feel she had any choice but to have sex with the black male,” said Johnson. The victim also said she begged her attacker to stop throughout the ordeal.
“She told me she asked him to wear a condom,” but he refused.
After the attack, she told the officer, Lindsey drove to a gas station on 3rd Street in the Bayview neighborhood whereupon she got out and ran towards a stranger for help.
The Good Samaritan drove her home. She said she had left her phone and other belongings in the car. One of these items left in Lindsey’s SUV, Johnson testified, had an ‘airtag’ tracker attached which pinged in various locations in the SOMA and Ingleside districts thereafter.
He said that the victim was crying throughout her interview with him.
SFPD Sgt. Ramonik Johal, of the department’s Special Victims Unit, testified that he also spoke with the victim just after 11:30am on August 5.
‘”She said she was approached by an SUV…and that it had some type of damage to the windshield,” Johal said. The description she provided of the driver was of “a light-skinned black male, short cropped hair, 5’9″ in height and wearing a red t-shirt.”
“She was offered a ride home…she provided her address to the male individual….[a]s the car was in motion she began to notice the car was going in the wrong direction.”
Lindsay, the victim told Johal, was dismissive of her concerns and drove her to an alley.
“He made a demand…the she would have to have sex with him before she went home.”
“She was afraid that the individual would hurt her. At some point she was held down…her jeans were removed by the individual…and then the individual penetrated her with his penis.”
“She pleaded with him to stop and [told Lindsey] that he was raping her,” Johal added.
After the assault, Johal reported, the victim was driven to a gas station in the Bayview district.
The court was shown security camera footage of the Texaco station on 3rd Street, floodlit in the morning darkness just after 5am. There, said Johal, “the victim observed another vehicle had pulled into the gas station…she took the opportunity and ran toward the van.”
Johal was told later by the Good Samaritan that “he had gone to the gas station and, while he was there, a female came up to his van frantically.”
The court heard evidence that Lindsey may have attempted to clean the inside of his vehicle after his victim had escaped.
Johal testified that the victim’s roommate was able to track an airtag attached to the property she had left in Lindsey’s vehicle. The vehicle was ultimately located by officers who noted that it had a damaged windshield and that there was mail inside bearing the defendant’s name. Subsequent analysis of DNA taken during a sexual assault examination of the victim yielded a hit against the CODIS database – the Combined DNA Indexing System which holds DNA profiles of offenders – which also pointed investigators toward Lindsey.
Lindsey was arrested by officers from the fugitive recovery team on September 7 2023. The victim failed to pick the defendant out of a photographic line up, Johal said, noting that they used an earlier mugshot of Lindsey, as his red t-shirt was visible in the one just taken and officers did not want to unduly influence the victim by showing her that one.
The court heard testimony from a sexual assault forensic nurse practitioner, Susan Thompson, who collected intimate swabs from the victim five hours after the attack, and Kelley Fracchia, a criminalist at SFPD’s crime lab, who analyzed and compared DNA obtained from the swabs.
Fracchia told the court that an analysis of a vaginal swab from the victim revealed the presence of two individuals’ DNA. It was 70 septillion times more likely that these two people were the victim and Lindsey versus an alternative of the victim and one random unrelated person, she said. The results from several other swabs were also presented.
During cross-examination of Officer Johnson, attorneys for Lindsey elicited that force was not used, the victim was not injured, her clothes were not torn, and that she admitted she had been drinking. That the victim lived relatively near to the location where she got into the car was also brought up, with Lindsey’s lawyers wondering why that might have been.
In their cross examination of Sgt. Johal, Lindsey’s attorneys additionally raised discrepancies between the victim’s initial report in her sexual assault interview – where he accepted she said that oral copulation, digital penetration and kissing had occurred during the attack – and a later interview when she denied that these occurred and that she had ever said they did.
Johal was also asked questions about toxicology tests which, Lindsey’s attorneys said, indicated a Blood Alcohol Concentration level in the victim of “0.29” and the presence of cocaine and marijuana. This was objected to by the Assistant District Attorney and was not pursued.
Ultimately the defense argued, in closing, that it was unclear whether any force was used and that the victim’s subjective feelings alone were insufficient to support the charge of rape. They added that there was no evidence that there was no consent to the movements in the car after the woman entered of her own volition.
The victim did not give evidence and was not in court.
“The only logical inference is that this was rape,” said Judge Caffese at the conclusion of the hearing. “She got in the car, she wanted to go home…he drove to an alley and committed the sexual offense”.
“You are ordered held to answer on count 1 and count 2,” she told Lindsey.
Lindsey was ordered to appear in Department 22 on November 28 at 9:00am. He remains in custody. His substantial criminal record includes arrests for assault with a deadly weapon, battery, DUI, resisting arrest and drug possession.
Assistant District Attorney Danielle Hilton prosecuted. Attorneys Alexandria Carl and Rose Mishaan appeared for Lindsey.
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