Kathleen Peterson (plaintiff) was a student at the City College of San Francisco, which was operated by the San Francisco Community College District (the District) (defendant). Peterson was assaulted while going up a stairway in the school’s parking lot. The assailant was a white male who jumped from behind foliage and trees adjoining the stairway. Peterson alleged that the foliage and trees were unreasonably thick and untrimmed. The District was aware that similar attacks had occurred in that manner in that same stairway. However, the District had not publicized the previous attacks or warned students of the danger that similar attacks might occur. Peterson sued the District for failing to protect or warn her of the danger and for maintaining a dangerous condition on the property. The trial court dismissed the complaint. Peterson appealed.