PETALUMA (KPIX 5) — The first alleged sexual assault by accused NorCal Rapist Roy Waller was in Rohnert Park back in 1991. The survivor that attack told KPIX 5 on Friday she is ready to face him in court.
“It’s a big day. It’s a big day. It’s a big day for my life,” said NorCal Rapist survivor Nicole Payte. “It’s a big day in my family’s life it’s a day I’ve been hoping for 27 years.”
For Payte, the news came in a sudden, and unexpected phone call Friday morning.
“I thought I would go to my grave never seeing his face, never knowing his name and having him never be held accountable,” said Payte.
Prosecutors now believe she was Waller’s first victim in 1991. Payte never did see her attacker.
“I’ve been walking around for 27 years wondering, ‘Is that him? Is that him? What about that guy? Is he dead? Is he alive?'” explained Payte. “It’s difficult because I was covered up. I never saw him.”
On Friday — while elated at the news — she also expressed her lingering frustration with the initial investigation back in the early 90s.
“Your story — and what has happened to me — was completely disregarded as unimportant. That’s how it felt to me. It’s not a pleasant way to feel,” said Payte. “Finally, Sacramento said to me, ‘No. You are important. This happened to you. And we’re going to get this guy.'”
And only then did she learn the extent of the case.
“I didn’t know until 2006 that there were a bunch of subsequent victims l. I didn’t know until Sacramento contacted me,” said Payte.
The 1991 case falls beyond the statute of limitations, but the NorCal Rapist’s first victim said she is determined to play some kind of role in the prosecution of this case moving forward.
“Whatever that looks like. If it’s testifying, to show a pattern. If it’s a victim’s impact statement, I’m going to demand that I get my day in the room with him,” said Payte.
Authorities said the NorCal Rapist frequently targeted petite Asian women in their 20s and 30s. He was armed in many of the assaults and often wore a mask.
Waller is due to make his first court appearance in Sacramento on Monday.