SACRAMENTO, Calif - A man nicknamed the NorCal Rapist was convicted Wednesday of raping nine women in their homes between 1991 and 2006 after investigators used DNA technology to identify him.
A jury in Sacramento found Roy Charles Waller, 60, guilty on all 46 counts after 2 1/2 hours of deliberations a day earlier.
Waller showed no emotion and looked down at the defendant’s table when the jury’s decision was read, the Sacramento Bee reported. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 18.
Waller raped women in six Northern California counties, from Sacramento to Chico. Sometimes he would kidnap the women and force them to withdraw money from ATMs and steal their personal items.
Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn called the crimes “horrific,” saying the victims were terrorized for hours at a time.
Prosecutors said they used the same DNA and genealogy websites to zero in on Waller that they used to arrest former police officer Joseph DeAngelo 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.
Prosecutors credited the DNA evidence with ensuring Waller’s conviction.
“DNA technology is the greatest tool given to the justice system to exonerate the innocent and convict the guilty,” Sacramento County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi said in a statement. “Law enforcement officers and detectives involved in the investigation never stopped searching for the truth.”
Waller was arrested in September 2018 at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked for 25 years as a safety specialist in the office of environment, health and safety.
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, and he questioned whether DNA found at the crime scenes had been preserved properly over the years.
Farina declined to comment as he left the courthouse Wednesday.
Prosecutors portrayed Waller as an organized and cunning criminal who stalked potential victims and collected information about their appearance, movements and vehicles and kept it in computer databases that he still had when he was arrested. Investigators also found zippered bags filled with 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 and build and studying their daily routines until he could slip into their homes and attack them.