San Francisco man found guilty in horrific domestic violence case

Graffitti protesting against domestic violence increase during the coronavirus pandemic outside UCH on the 10th May 2020 in London, United Kingdom. There has been a 24% rise in abuse cases in the UK from March 9, when people with coronavirus symptoms

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin's office on Monday announced a man was found guilty in a horrific case of domestic violence against his girlfriend. 

Julius Berry, 29, of San Francisco, was found guilty of eight felonies, three counts of domestic violence, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of false imprisonment.  

A statement from the city's top prosecutor read that the abuse occurred over the course of several years and included incidents where Berry burned his girlfriend's face and neck with a lit cigarette, stabbed her in the leg and stomach with scissors, and bound and gagged her while holding an electric drill to her temple. 

“One of the highest priorities of my office is to support survivors of domestic violence and to hold their abusers accountable,” said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. “We will not tolerate domestic violence in San Francisco. If you or a loved one is a survivor in immediate danger, please contact 911 immediately.”

Court documents show Berry began dating the survivor of his abuse in 2014 and became physically abusive the next year. The violence escalated with him using zip ties to restrain her and beat her in the face and on the head. 

The survivor suffered permanent scarring as a result of being burned by her abuser's lit cigarrette. The survivor did not reach out for help until years later, though she did document her injuries in photographs, the DA's office said. 

The power drill incident happened in 2018 when the survivor was awakened by Berry with the power tool to her head as he threatened her life. While still partially bound and gagged, the survivor managed to jump out of a second-story bedroom window onto a concrete driveway below. 

The survivor was taken to the hospital after Berry carried her back inside and called 911. At the hospital, he denied any domestic violence. 

In January 2019, the survivor obtained a restraining order against Berry. After the San Francisco Police Department was notified, the case was investigated and shortly thereafter, Berry was arrested and charged. 

“This result could not have been achieved without the courage and strength of this survivor; first in coming forward after years of mental and physical abuse, and then by standing up in court to reveal to us her story as a survivor,” said Assistant District Attorney Maia Maszara, who prosecuted the case. “It’s imperative for the vulnerable of San Francisco, regardless of race, ethnicity or background, to know they can put their faith in the justice system. There is power in every voice.”

Berry is due back in court December 14 for sentencing. 

For survivors in need of services, the SFDA Victim Services Division is ready to help. Their office serves hundreds of survivors every year. Please call us at 1-628-652-4100 or email for information and assistance.