Man charged in autistic teen's kidnap-rape

Dec. 5, 2012 at 10:05 AM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A San Francisco man police said has a laundry list of offenses and described as a predator was charged with kidnapping and raping an autistic teenage girl.

Authorities said Gary Steven Atkinson, 36, saw the 16-year-old girl at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Oakland Nov. 27 and took her to his San Francisco home where he repeatedly raped her for two days until she escaped Thursday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

She was found Thursday evening, disoriented, on a bus.

Atkinson was arraigned Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland on charges of kidnapping, rape of an incompetent person, committing a lewd act on a child and attempting lewd acts upon a child, the Chronicle said. He did not enter a plea.

Oakland police arrested Atkinson Sunday.

At a news conference Tuesday, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said, "This is by far one of the most sickening cases I've seen in my career as a police officer."

"This predator took advantage of that child," Oakland police Lt. Leronne Armstrong told the news conference.

Police said the girl, who has the mental capacity of a 9-year-old, left a group home and walked more than 2 miles to the BART station. She was followed by two staffers who lost sight of her when they were stopped by security officers, the head of the group home said.

The girl's father criticized the facility for not acting more aggressively to prevent her from leaving and for waiting too long to report her disappearance to police, the Chronicle said. He said he was notified Tuesday night, but the police report was not filed until early Wednesday.

State social services officials said the home's actions will be investigated.

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