LA Sexual Assault Victim Declared Brain Dead


One of the victims in two brutal sexual assaults along the Venice Canals on the same night last month has been declared brain dead, prompting many to wonder if the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office will consider a murder charge against the 29-year-old suspect.

The vicious attacks took place separately on April 6 while both victims were out for an evening walk along the canals. Authorities say they were violently assaulted by Anthony Jones.

With help from the community, including critical surveillance footage, law enforcement personnel were able to locate and arrest the 29-year-old five days later in San Diego.

“The level of brutality that was engaged in was very reprehensible,” L.A. County DA George Gascón said during a news conference announcing the charges.

The charges against Jones included two counts of forcible rape, one count of sexual penetration by use of force, one count of sodomy by use of force, one count of mayhem, one count of torture, and one count of attempted murder.

Now, one of the victims, a woman from Massachusetts, no longer has any brain function, people close to the case tell KTLA’s Chris Wolfe.

The second victim, 54-year-old Mary Klein, told KTLA from her hospital bed that Jones attacked her from behind and “bashed” her face in. Doctors wired her jaw shut after a beating that left her severely injured and covered in bruises.

“I think he was trying to kill me,” Klein said at the time. “I think he tried to kill me.”

The suspect, Anthony Jones, 29, seen walking around the Venice canals area on April 6, 2024.

Venice resident Aimee Nelson, who has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years, said she and others thought it was likely the woman from Massachusetts would not wake up and recover from the attack.

“Even knowing that, today when we saw it, it was still incredibly emotional,” she said.

Nelson noted there has been an increase in violent crime in the neighborhood and that residents are doing their best by keeping tabs on each other, one neighbor even gave her pepper spray and a stun gun.

A new “Know Your Neighbor” plan that divides the community into special blocks or focus groups with labels has been expanding in the area.

Mary Klein, seen with severe injuries and bruising, speaks to KTLA from her hospital bed on April 12, 2024. (KTLA)
Mary Klein, seen with severe injuries and bruising, speaks to KTLA from her hospital bed on April 12, 2024. (KTLA)

“Our neighbors have been asking each other to walk them home, people are avoiding going out at night because they feel unsafe,” Venice resident Ramon Goni told KTLA. “We had an active shooter right behind us a few weeks ago.”

When asked if they intend to increase the charges against Jones to include murder after one of the victims was declared brain dead, the L.A. County DA’s Office released the following statement to KTLA:

“We are aware of the tragic circumstances surrounding one of the victims of last month’s brutal sexual assaults at the Venice Canals. Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the victim’s family and friends during this unimaginably difficult time. Our office is evaluating how we will proceed to ensure the defendant is held fully accountable for his conduct.”

As for Klein, the lone survivor of the attacks, she and her son are upset to learn of the latest developments and are not ready to publicly speak about the situation just yet.

Josh DuBose
Josh DuBose
Working busy nightside shifts, Josh DuBose covers breaking news events, high-speed police pursuits, crime, entertainment, culture, politics and all matters impacting LA, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties.

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