Suspected ‘NorCal Rapist’ charged with 1991 Rohnert Park assault

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Sacramento prosecutors on Monday filed 28 additional felony crimes against suspected “NorCal Rapist” Roy Charles Waller, including for the first time charging him with slipping in an unlocked door into a Rohnert Park condominium in 1991 and sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman.

Waller, who turns 59 on Tuesday, was originally arrested in September and named the prime suspect in a 27-year spree of violent, sexual attacks against at least 10 women across Northern California that had gone unsolved until DNA evidence and a genealogy website helped crack open the case.

The attack on a Rohnert Park woman nearly 28 years ago is the earliest crime prosecutors have so far linked to Waller, who remains in custody at the Sacramento County Jail without bail.

Waller, in his first court appearance Sept. 25 in Sacramento County Superior Court, was charged with 12 felony crimes. That hearing was packed with several of the women he’s alleged to have attacked in attendance.

However, those charges only included crimes that occurred in the Sacramento area.

Since then, investigators and prosecutors in Sonoma, Yolo, Butte, Contra Costa, Solano and Sacramento counties coordinated their investigations to allow the case against Waller to be tried in one jurisdiction — Sacramento — before one jury.

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said Waller has been ruled out as a suspect in a second Sonoma County assault that occurred in 1991, after additional DNA testing “excluded him as a suspect.”

In the Rohnert Park case, authorities say the woman was asleep in her condo after a long workday when Waller entered her home.

She was bound, blindfolded with duct tape and repeatedly assaulted.

Authorities said Waller’s last known assault took place in October 2006 against two roommates in North Natomas. They were tied up and sexually assaulted during an hourslong ordeal.

Monday, prosecutors filed a 54-page amended complaint that accuses Waller of sexually attacking seven women in six counties: Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa, Butte, Yolo and Sacramento counties.

In most of those cases, Waller is accused of brandishing a firearm and other deadly weapons during the course of the assaults.

Ravitch said her office will be assisting Sacramento County prosecutors in their prosecution of the Sonoma County case. Ravitch said the various cases were consolidated to provide efficient use of resources and out of consideration for victims.

“Victims will be called to testify about their crime, and would be subject to testifying more than once if each jurisdiction prosecuted,” Ravitch said in an email.

She also said a jury should hear evidence about all of the incidents in order to “understand the nature of the case.”

Waller had worked as a safety specialist at UC Berkeley’s environment, health and safety office since 1992, managing programs to boost training for using machinery, including aerial lifts, forklifts and respirators.

Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert has said Waller was targeted using the same technique that led authorities to arrest the Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist suspect, Joseph James DeAngelo, in April in Citrus Heights.

In both cases, authorities entered DNA from the attacks into the GEDmatch genealogy website and found close matches, then built family trees from the matches to lead them to their suspects.

Court records say police kept Waller under surveillance at his Benicia home and recovered a drinking straw from his garbage that produced DNA matching that found at the “NorCal Rapist” crime scenes.

He is expected to return to Sacramento court for another hearing on March 8.

This article include information from the Sacramento Bee. You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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