TORRANCE, Calif. - WARNING: This story contains graphic details of rape and sexual assault and may be triggering for some viewers.
A Torrance woman is speaking out after being tackled, beaten, and raped while walking her two dogs in a nearby park.
The July 31 attack left Marissa Young with missing teeth, broken bones, deep bruises and physical and emotional scars. For about a month afterward, she was partially blind.
Are you or someone you know a recent survivor of sexual assault? Help is available. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides a 24/7 national sexual assault hotline, which can be reached at 1-800-656-4673.
She said she had just finished work at a nearby restaurant late at night when she took her two 13-year-old dogs to a grassy area near Nova Community Church. Out of nowhere, someone tackled her from behind.
"I was barrel-rolled around and continuing to try to fight this person off. At one point he had me on my back with his fingers around my neck, and held me down real close here and was strangling me, and sort of let me know that 'I have control – if you don’t stop screaming and yelling, I’ll kill you,'" Marissa said. "I fought back like crazy – I did everything to get this person off of me. I bit his fingers, I tried to push him off of me."
The horrific attack went on for about 30 agonizing minutes.
"He asked – well told – me to perform oral sex on him, which is when I bit his penis as hard as I could - to try to bite it off in the hopes that he would run away. It did not come off – it just injured him severely – it just angered him and enraged him – he beat me even more severely," she said. "He was able to continue the rape even though he was severely injured in that sense."
After the attack, he left her on the ground, bloodied and naked from the waist down.
"For whatever reason, he decided not to kill me and said ‘You can go now,’ and pointed out my keys in the grass," Marissa said.
She said she ran to a nearby home, eventually persuading the resident to let her inside and call 911.
Many of her injuries were on the left side of her face because her attacker was right-handed, and used that fist to pummel her face more than a dozen times.
The alleged homeless attacker, 46-year-old Darrell Waters, had just been released from jail for a misdemeanor hours earlier. He is now being held without bail.
Marissa is trying to forgive him not only for what he did to her but for the toll it took on her loved ones, as well.
"I think that staying angry with someone who did this to me who doesn’t know me – I could have been anybody – it’s sort of fruitless," she said.