Hate Crime Investigation Underway After Sexual Assault in San Jose Diridon Station

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A man was arrested Wednesday after sexually assaulting a woman at San Jose’s Diridon Station and police are investigating it as a hate crime, they said.

Transit police say both the man and woman got off the train and then were walking down toward the tunnel. The victim told police the man made a derogatory comment, and then attacked her.

Investigators say it happened around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. The woman was able to get away and call for help and transit police found the 32-year-old man and arrested him nearby.

It’s not clear what he said to her beforehand, but he’s been booked on sexual assault and hate crime charges. 

“Enough. Enough. She’s a woman in America who is Asian and she was just going from point a to point b,” said Madeleine McSweeney, who commutes to San Jose daily. 

It's another part of a disturbing rise in attacks on Asian-Americans.

“It seems like the vulnerable are being preyed upon, so it’s not a comfortable feeling for sure,” said Sarita Kohli, president and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement.  

She says they're seeing increased calls into their behavioral health counseling services. 

“We’re hearing from some youth with some discomfort around it,” said Kohli. “People asking questions about what is happening, why is it happening and they’re looking for resources.” 

NBC News led a forum Wednesday called “The Racism Virus” focused on an alarming side-effect of the pandemic -- Asian-Americans becoming targets of hate and discrimination.  

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