Berkeley man charged after rape attempt, death threats

Alameda County Superior Court 5/29/15 Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Michael Bishop is set to appear Monday at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland. Photo: Melati Citrawireja

A Berkeley man has been charged with three felonies after authorities say he tied up a woman with an electrical cord and tried to rape her.

Police say, according to court papers, the man and woman knew each other. The man was identified as Michael Bishop, 28, of Berkeley. The woman’s name was not released due to privacy laws related to the nature of the charges.

Neighbors on California Street called police Friday at about 6:50 p.m. after hearing a woman “yelling like she was being hit,” according to court papers. Police responded to the apartment for the domestic dispute and could hear a man and woman yelling inside.

When officers knocked on the door and announced themselves, a woman responded from inside: “He’s raping me!” and “Get in here!” according to court documents.


Officers forced their way inside and found Bishop, who was naked. He told police he and the woman were “just having rough sex.” Police said Bishop had a scrape on his face.

A woman on the floor wasn’t moving but “was able to mumble that Bishop had hit her in the face with his fist,” police said. A white electrical cord was wrapped around her legs. Paramedics took the woman to the hospital for treatment.

According to court papers, the man and woman had gotten into an argument. The woman told police Bishop “became upset and told her that he hoped she died.” He then took off his clothes and told her he was going to rape her, according to court papers.

She said he then strangled her, causing her to black out. When she fought back, he tied her legs with the cord, she told police. She said she thought he was trying to kill her.

Bishop said the two had simply been “having rough sex and role playing” by “playing out a rape scenario.”


When paramedics were taking him to the hospital to examine him for signs of sexual assault, Bishop said he wanted to kill himself, police said. Paramedics took him to John George Psychiatric Hospital for an evaluation.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Bishop on Monday with three felonies: corporal injury to a relationship partner causing great bodily injury, which could lead to prison time; assault with intent to commit a sex crime; and criminal threats.

Bishop is being held at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $310,000. He is scheduled to enter a plea Monday, June 27, at the René C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland, according to sheriff’s office records.

Have a question about a local public safety incident? Write to crime@berkeleyside.com. Photographs and videos are always appreciated.

Do you rely on Berkeleyside for local news? Support independent journalism by becoming a Berkeleyside member for $10 a month or even less, or by making a one-time donation.