Recently I accompanied a female friend to a preliminary hearing at the Criminal Courts Building on Temple Street. My friend had been the unfortunate victim of rape in an escalator leading to the parking structure near the Children's Museum where she had been visiting with her young son.
Having to identify the assailant at the hearing was traumatic enough, but just getting to the court was an ordeal.
We arrived for the hearing and parked in the structure behind the Hall of Records. We saw no sign indicating the presence of an elevator, so we took the stairway marked "To the Criminal Courts Building."
In actuality, this stairway lead to the loading dock behind the Hall of Records. It was smelly, dirty, and an obvious risk to personal safety. There were no surveillance cameras or call boxes. People were loitering about.
Obviously, we were sensitive to the situation due to my friend's violent experience, but it brings to light a serious situation in public and private parking structures.
I am certain that increased and improved security in these structures will help prevent other women from suffering the violence of rape and robbery.
JOHN C. ZAK