Hello to a stranger. No big thing. And after all this is San Francisco. People are friendly to death. Especially in a place like the 1400 block of Sutter, which is on the ‘good’ side of Van Ness Avenue, away from the Tenderloin District. This is upscale, tall apartment buildings, no Victorians but everything is convenient, across from the Spanish consulate, just a couple blocks up from Sacred Heart Cathedral.
So a younger woman and an older man strike up a conversation at the counter of a convenience store. They leave the store together. Coincidentally, or maybe it’s already in his mind. They walk up the street. It’s 11 p.m., February 16th. They walk up the street and then the allegation is that suddenly he sweeps her into a stairwell, attacks her, assaults her sexually. Flees.
Woman gets home; her roommate calls 911. Ambulance arrives, takes victim to the hospital. Police investigate and, according to SFPD information officer Albie Esparza, “The victim picked up evidence which was given to police and lead to the identification of the suspect.”
That person would be Arthur R. Salinas, 57.
At 5 a.m. the next morning a Special Victims Unit out of Northern Station finds him standing on the corner of Franklin and Sutter. Close to the crime scene. He has a sexual offender parole warrant from Beaumont, Texas on his head. And is now charged with one count of rape, one count of forced oral copulation, one count of failing to register as a sex offender. Add kidnapping enhancement allegations. Add a possible third strike, which under California law entitles you to life in prison.
Bail set at $3 million. Arraignment set for Monday, February 25 at the Hall of Justice.
District Attorney George Gascón noted on February 21st, “Last week, after thousands of people in San Francisco gathered in front of City Hall and demanded an end to the violence against women, we had this monster commit horrific acts against a female resident. This is unacceptable and we will aggressively charge this predator and hope he will spend the rest of his life where he belongs, in prison.”
CBS Bay Area: Sex Offender Arrested In SF Cathedral Hill Attack