(CBS SF) — Joseph James DeAngelo, who is believed to be the Golden State Killer, is facing four felony counts of kidnapping during the course of a robbery stemming from alleged crimes that occurred in Contra Costa County, District Attorney Diana Becton said Tuesday during a news conference in Orange County with five other district attorneys.
All four of those alleged crimes involved a sexual assault, according to district attorney’s spokesman Scott Alonso, but will not be charged as such due to the statute of limitations.
“We know that there were sexual assaults here in our county, but I think the bottom line is that the statute of limitations has passed,” Alonso said. “We can’t include any of that in the charges.”
California’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse was eliminated in 2016, but that only applies to crimes committed on or after Jan. 1, 2017. The alleged crimes that occurred in Contra Costa County occurred in 1978 and 1979.
“For decades he evaded justice and devastated communities across California,” Becton said Tuesday morning.
“Due to the severity of these crimes, these victims often face tremendous trauma after so much time has passed,” Becton said. “Thankfully we can now hold someone accountable for these crimes and seek justice for our victims.”
When he goes to trial, DeAngelo could be facing up to four life sentences plus 10 additional years, and prosecutors said he is eligible for the death penalty. At minimum, he’s still facing life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
The criminal complaint against Deangelo currently includes a total of 26 counts stemming from crimes to alleged to have occurred in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Tulare, and Orange counties as well as Sacramento County – where the case will go to trial.
Prosecutors said charging the crimes Deangelo allegedly committed on a statewide basis would allow for greater efficiency and swifter justice.
“It is very fitting that this journey for justice that has been sought for over 40 years ends in Sacramento,” Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said this morning.
Deangelo’s arrest was announced in April, and he is slated to be arraigned on an amended felony complaint on Thursday afternoon in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Denagelo allegedly committed 51 rapes and 12 murders across 10 different counties between 1976 and 1986. He worked as a police officer from 1973 to 1979.