SAN DIEGO (CN) – A San Diego Superior Court judge was unsympathetic Friday when he handed down the longest possible sentence to the last man facing punishment for the downtown rape of an unconscious woman who did her own sleuthing to bring her rapists to justice.
Judge Jeffrey Fraser said Jason Berlin, 28, lacked remorse and lied under oath before sentencing the man to eight years in prison for the rape of an intoxicated person. Berlin was the third and final defendant sentenced in the October 2013 rape of an unconscious woman in a downtown San Diego apartment.
The victim, identified as Jane Doe, did not speak to reporters following the hearing Friday but read a lengthy, expletive-filled statement to the court about her rape and the discovery of a detailed blog post in which Berlin wrote about raping her. The blog was posted to a website called Efficient Pickup, a now-defunct site dedicated to teaching men how to sleep with as many women as possible.
Berlin was 23 at the time he raped Doe, and was “studying” under master pick-up artists Alexander Smith, 27, and Jonas Dick, 28, who were identified as teachers. Smith and Dick were convicted of rape charges last year and each was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Fraser rejected a six-year sentence recommended by Deputy District Attorney Lisa Fox, who said Berlin “shed light on the pick-up artist community” for jurors when he agreed to testify as a witness in the criminal trial against Smith.
Berlin’s attorney Vikas Bajaj had requested probation.
For the third time, Doe read a statement to the court about how being raped has affected her life. She looked directly at Berlin, who remained stoic while she addressed him.
Doe said it was obvious Berlin “idolized” Smith and Dick when she read direct quotes from Berlin’s blog post. All three men frequently slept with the same women on the same night, according to blog posts read by Doe.
“It’s indescribable to read about your own rape in journal format,” Doe said.
“When I stumbled upon the pick-up artist world it consumed me. Women were not mentioned by name, but by number. Virtual high-fives were given by fellow followers. The mission statement said it was about building men’s confidence but what you really do is manipulate women.”
Following the rape, Doe said she had STD tests, blood work and bruises so severe she had to use a bruise treatment gel. She recalled having to identify her underwear “in a 3-inch binder of photos of other women’s clothing,” and said her torn dress was encased in glass and shown to jurors during Smith’s trial.
Doe said the media attention the case has garnered has brought with it online debates among those in the pick-up artist community who called her names like “slut.”
Since being raped, Doe said she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and becomes paranoid around strangers. Doe said testifying in the case has been her “mission and strength all these years.”
Fraser commended Doe, telling her the case would not have gone forward had she not found the perpetrators through the Efficient Pickup website.
“The San Diego Police Department dropped the ball,” Fraser said.
“The only reason they made the arrests was you. You put together the package and dropped it off on their desks. You should go and teach cops how to do this.”