MERCED, CA – The mother of an alleged victim of an August 31, 2015 rape was contacted this past Tuesday by Dan Shambaugh, a victim witness advocate for the county of Merced, and told her that she and her daughter Danielle had to meet with the District Attorney’s office about the case the next day. According to Nicole, Danielle’s mother, she stated that she had to take her daughter to take the ASVAB test because she was joining the Navy that day. But Dan said the meeting with the DA’s office could not be rescheduled and that they would have to come the following day.
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“Since I was never contacted by them before,” Nicole said in an interview with MCNTV News, “I figured we had no other choice because this would be the only time we could find out what had gone on all these months.”
So Nicole made the necessary arrangements and she and Danielle headed down to the DA’s office confident that charges would be filed.
“We met with Deputy District Attorney Steve Slocum,” Danielle said to MCNTV News, “and at first he was telling me all the things that were wrong with the case and I had to keep correcting him. Like when he said that there was no DNA found on me, but in fact there was. “Oh yes well they found fragments” he said and then he told me there were no marks on me and again I had to tell him that in fact I did have marks that the police documented. He also said that I was drinking and when it’s two people against each other it becomes a he said she said. He just kept dodging what I was really there to find out until I finally asked “So where do I stand?”
According to Danielle and her mother that is when DDA Slocum told her that if the case went to trial he did not believe they could win.
“I was shocked,” said Danielle, “I just could not believe what he had just told me. I asked him about the Merced County News story where the reporter confirmed with the detective that at least two other women had come forward about rape allegations against Wikki and Slocum just started laughing at me. I felt so humiliated when he told me that Merced County News is not a real news agency and that they make up their stories… he basically crushed my spirit right there. He was telling me that my story was made up because MCNTV News wrote it.
According to Danielle the owner of Barcode Bar and Grill, Verma Wikki, invited her to his establishment, The Barcode Bar & Grill on F St. in Livingston, for a job interview on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m. During that time Verma allegedly gave Danielle 6 mini shots of various alcohols to sample and a short time later she described feeling like she was out of her body.
“He never asked me my age,” she said, “there were costumes that the girls wear out on the table because of the different themes each night. He told me I had to sample each of the shots to know the alcohol I would be serving. “This is all part of the interview process,” is what he told me.”
The interview started really getting strange when Wikki Verma allegedly began asking her, “What turns you on? What’s your fantasy?” And, “what makes you excited?”
By this time, Danielle said that she was feeling out of her body and that is when Wikki allegedly started coming on to her. Danielle said she pushed him away and ran into a bathroom.
“That is when he came running up to the bathroom and he was fully naked,” Danielle recalls. “I tried to use any strength I had to push and hold that door closed because there was no lock, but he pushed it in and I was so afraid. I didn’t know what he was going to do to me. And that is when he attacked me.”
Danielle remembers trying to gather any and all of her last strength just to escape. “I just started screaming out loud and my last memory was breaking free of him and running as fast as I could before I just fell out in the parking lot.”
Later that night at around 9:30 p.m. police found Danielle in the bar parking lot and she was transported to a Fresno clinic for an examination. She had several scratches and her shirt was on inside out. Police returned the next morning with a warrant, gathered evidence and arrested Verma who had apparently locked himself inside the building all night until the next morning. According to Danielle, officers found her underwear and her shoes inside the establishment
“We never heard anything from the DA’s office about the case,” Danielle said. “We called them several times and were always told to leave a message, but no one from the DA’s office ever called us back. The one call we did get was from a woman who said she was with the Victims advocacy group and that they had some counseling options for me and that was it.”
Livingston PD detectives Chris Soria and Detective Barcus have both stated to MCNTV News, the Merced Sunstar and to the victim that there are two other women that have come forward with rape allegations against Wikki Verma since this case, but the DA’s office and Steve Slocum refused to discuss them and in fact, laughed at the rape victim when she mentioned it.
Danielle has undergone considerable changes physically and mentally since the alleged rape occurred and says she is a survivor and hopes to be an advocate for others someday.
Like many other rape cases that come before the Merced County DA’s office with overwhelming evidence the DA again turns away victims and embraces the guilty. Countless times we have been told by victims that the DA’s office has no problem calling the accused and or their attorney, but they seem to forget about the victims.
Who could ever forget the horrible injustice done to the victim who came forward and told about Merced County Sheriff’s deputy Brian Miller sexually assaulting her for two years which started when she was just 14-years-old. The DA’s office literally sat on the case, even after his own investigators recommended filing charges.
But if you upset the DA he will file charges even with no evidence at all. Like he did against a then Merced PD officer named Rod Dash. Even after the DA was told by the Attorney General’s office that Officer Dash had not committed the crime for which he was accused, the DA still went after him and used tax payer dollars to get a not guilty verdict. The DA has also gone after an Atwater code enforcement officer and once again there was no basis for any charges yet the DA filed and went after Mike Teater like a freight train. The jury saw right through the DA’s bogus charges and delivered a not guilty verdict.
And the DA’s most recent victims include a mom and her son who had a restraining order against a woman named Sue Wisdom for pulling a firearm on them. When Sue kept harassing the victims they notified the police and instead of the DA taking action to protect the victims he chose to file a charge of filing a false report against the victims. They have been fighting the case in court and we will bring you this story soon.
MCNTV News called Detective Barcus who did not return our call, but instead called Danielle and according to her, he reiterated that there was indeed two other women that came forward and that he was also surprised by the DA’s decision given the amount of evidence in the case.
MCNTV News also called Steve Slocum to ask him a little more about the decision made and why the DA’s office never seems to contact any of the victims or their families in these cases. After informing the receptionist at the DA’s office of who I was and that I needed to speak with Steve, I was placed on a long hold, then transferred without any explanation to the DA’s secretary, Angie. I hung up and called back informing the receptionist that I wanted to speak with Steve and not Angie, she informed me that all media inquiries must go through the DA’s assistant Angie, which we know is not true.
Finally after waiting for about an hour I called back and spoke with Liz who was kind enough to transfer me to Slocum’s voice mail where I left a message requesting a statement regarding the DA’s decision not to file charges and to understand more about why the DA’s office doesn’t speak to the victim’s in rape cases. As of this writing, no statement from Slocum has yet been received.
Wikki Verma is said to have gone back to India for now. His family has since changed the name of the Barcode Bar and Grill to “Indian Cuisine” and the Barcode Gym, which Wikki also owned, has since been closed.
VIDEO OF WIKKI FROM YOUTUBE