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Trio That Stopped Possible Date Rape in Santa Monica Win Wide Acclaim
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

June 1, 2016 -- Call them “Charlie’s Angels,” Santa Monica style – although, as the three women are quick to warn, “This is no laughing matter.”

The trio, who were at the Fig Restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard Thursday for Happy Hour, are winning international praise for stopping a possible date rape, and gaining online fame for the Facebook re-telling of that night as a warning to all women.

The post features a photograph of the three posing in a manner reminiscent of the iconic crime-fighting threesome from the Charlie’s Angels TV hit of the mid-1970s and early 1980s.

The post includes this reminder: “...yes, you SHOULD say something. Even if it's awkward or weird or just uncertain if anything can be done,” wrote Sonia Ulrich, one of the trio.

Meanwhile, suspect Michael Hsu, 24, was arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of administering a drug and assault with intent to commit a sex crime.

The judge reduced the $1 million bail sought by prosecutors to $350,000 and ordered Hsu to stay away from the alleged victim and turn over his passport and pilot license. Hsu faces up to six years in prison.

Photo of Michael Hsu, 24. SMPDSuspect Michael Hsu. SMPD

Police ask anyone with additional information to contact Detective Nicole Sierra at (310) 458- 8941, Sergeant Sal Lucio at (310) 458-8760 or the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8495.

According to Santa Monica police, officers responded to a 6:15 p.m. radio call of suspicious circumstances at the Fig Restaurant at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel involving witnesses who had seen Hsu dropping an unknown substance into his female companion’s drink while she was in the restroom.

The women alerted the Fig’s staff, whose manager then called authorities. After a preliminary investigation, police arrested and jailed Hsu.

“The victim’s drink along with other items were recovered as evidence,” a SMDP statement said. “Santa Monica Police Department Detectives subsequently executed a search warrant at Hsu’s residence.”

Ulrich’s post, though, adds some significant details. One of the women followed Hsu’s companion into the restroom and, after summoning the courage, warned her about what had been seen.

"Hey! Um, this is kind of weird, but, uh, we saw the guy you were with put something in your drink,” Ulrich’s post says in the re-telling.

It goes on: "Oh My God." She said. Shocked, kind of numb, so I babbled "Yeah, my girlfriend said she saw him put something in your drink and we had to say something. Woman to woman. . . you know.

"We had to say something. How well do you know that guy?" I was expecting to hear "We just met," but I got: “He's one of my best friends... They had known each other for a year and a half. They worked together."

The female companion managed to avoid her drink until police arrived about 40 minutes later. By the time the three women left that night, they’d been approached by at least ten people who thanked them and often recounted their own experiences involving date rape.

As of Tuesday morning, the post had been shared by more than 115,00 times and the story was making headlines in the U.S. and abroad.

Thursday’s near-miss at The Fig reflected some of the elements most common in date rape, a crime that some statistics indicate is committed or attempted against one in four women of college age.

According to the University of the Sciences, a Philadelphia school specializing in science and healthcare, 84 percent of women who have been raped knew their attackers.

Women between the ages of 16 and 24 are four times more likely to be date raped than any other age group and 74 percent of the perpetrators and 55 percent of the victims of rape within a nationally representative sample of college students had been drinking alcohol.

In one study cited by the university, about a third of men questioned said they would commit date rape if they could do so without being caught. And 42 percent of women who are victims of date rape said they didn’t tell anyone.

The Facebook photograph of Ulrich, Marla Saltzer and Monica Kenyon posing as Charlie’s Angels was posted to bring attention to the date rape issue.

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