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A woman who survived being sexually assaulted by the Golden State Killer has created a space to help other local area sex assault survivors.
Kris Pedretti was attacked by Joseph James DeAngelo, known also as the “East Area Rapist” in 1976 when she was just 15. She was home alone, playing the piano when DeAngelo broke into her family’s house armed with a knife, HBO’s 2020 docuseries “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” detailed.
DeAngelo pleaded guilty last year to 13 murders and 13 rape-related charges that large swaths of California between 1975 and 1986. The plea deal spared him the death penalty. He admitted victimizing at least 87 people at 53 separate crime scenes spanning 11 California counties.
Pedretti explained in "I'll Be Gone in the Dark" that she felt numb to the incident at the time. She stopped playing piano because she associated it with being attacked. While still a teen, her dad overheard her telling a friend what happened to her and she got in trouble for doing so.
“I think at that moment, that would probably be the beginning feeling of shame,” she explained in the docuseries. She said she couldn’t believe it when other victims began coming forward in public decades later; she had to join them.
Pedretti has been very vocal since 2018 and was present along with other survivors at DeAngelo’s 2020 plea hearing.
Now, she’s helping others talk about the sexual violence they have endured.
Starting in June, Pedretti has been hosting monthly events in her Elk Grove backyard for a group of sexual assault survivors, Sacramento’s CapRadio reports. During these meetings, they share their experiences and offer one another support.
Pedretti told CapRadio that she offers a “safe place” for survivors to talk about what they went through.
“Then you find out that all those terrible things that you thought were going to happen when you told your story, don't happen,” she said.
Kerri Angell, of Folsom, has been at two events at Pedretti’s home so far. She said she was raped 26 years ago and spent most of her life not talking about what happened to her.
“I’m in a group of people, and we’re not freaks,” she told CapRadio. “This happens to so many people, and they’re afraid to say it, and why?”
Pedretti has also created a support group on Facebook for survivors across the globe. It has about 600 members.
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