Former UC Berkeley professor nicknamed 'NorCal Rapist' convicted in string of attacks
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A former University of California at Berkeley professor nicknamed the "NorCal Rapist" was convicted Wednesday of attacking women in a string of sexual assaults and kidnappings dating back almost 30 years.
Roy Charles Waller, 60, was found guilty on 46 counts, including rape, sodomy and kidnapping in connection with attacks on nine women between 1991 and 2009 in six counties throughout Northern California.
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After a nearly month-long trial, a jury in Sacramento deliberated for 2 and a half hours Wednesday before handing down the guilty verdict, the Sacramento Bee reported. Waller likely will face life in prison and his sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18.
Investigators identified Waller as a suspect using GEDMatch, a U.S. online service that compares autosomal DNA data files from different testing companies. It received national news coverage in April 2018 after the same technology was used to arrest Joseph DeAngelo, former police officer, in the Golden State Killer case.
DeAngelo pleaded guilty in June to 13 murders and 13 rape-related charges stemming from crimes spanning the 1970s and 1980s. He was sentenced in August to multiple life terms.
A Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy handcuffs Roy Charles Waller after he was found guilty in Superior Court on Nov. 18 in Sacramento, Calif. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool)
“We want to thank the jurors for their time and diligence in reaching this quick and definitive verdict,” the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Wednesday after Waller’s conviction. “Nine victims waited for more than 20 years for this moment and it is only with the use of Investigative Genetic Genealogy and the science of DNA that it has come. This is their day.”
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This undated file photo released by the Sacramento Police Department shows Roy Charles Waller. (Sacramento Police Department via AP, File)
Waller was arrested in September 2018 at UC Berkeley, where he worked for 25 years as a safety specialist in the Office of Environment, Health and Safety. School officials have said they were not aware of the attacks on campus.
Prosecutors portrayed Waller as an organized and cunning criminal who stalked potential victims and collected information about their appearance, movements and vehicles. He kept it in computer databases that he still had when he was arrested. Investigators also found zippered bags of duct tape, zip ties, handcuffs and other items used in the attacks in Waller’s two storage lockers.
Prosecutors said he sought out women of Asian descent, grading them on their appearance. He built and studied their daily routines until he would slip into their homes from Sacramento to Chico and attack them. He also forced some women from their homes to ATMs, demanded they withdraw money and stole other personal items.
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During the trial, defense attorney Joseph Farina accused authorities of overreach by taking a straw and half-eaten pear from garbage outside Waller’s home to get his DNA. He also questioned whether DNA found at the crime scenes had been preserved properly over the years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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