SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — The suspected NorCal Rapist made his first court appearance Monday afternoon, facing not only a judge but also two of the women he allegedly attacked.
Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn made the announcement at a Friday morning news conference that 58-year-old Roy Charles Waller was in custody.
He is accused of terrorizing and raping at least 10 women across six Northern California counties between 1991 and 2006.
Schubert said Waller has been charged in Sacramento County with 12 counts of forcible sexual assault against two women with allegations he used a gun and enhancements which if he is convicted will carry a life sentence.
Law enforcement has also linked Waller to at least eight other sexual assaults in six Northern California counties.
Hahn said he had been arrested by Sacramento deputies on Thursday as he arrived for work at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has been employed in the Environment, Health & Safety office since 1992.
When the suspected NorCal Rapist appeared in a Sacramento courtroom Monday, two of his alleged victims were sitting just feet away to see the man they say raped and terrorized them.
“He looked squarely at us in the eyes when he walked out,” said NorCal Rapist survivor Nicole Earnest-Payte outside of the courtroom. “First time I’ve seen his face ever.”
“It’s a day we have waited for for a very long time,” said sexual assault survivor Maki Anderson.
“When he turned around and looked squarely at us, straight in our eyes, I glared right back,” said Earnest-Payte
One Northern California district attorney called Waller a real-life boogie man who crept into his victims’ homes under the cover of darkness and attack them when they were most vulnerable.
“There’s not a moment you don’t forget. You don’t forget the details. You don’t forget the smells, sounds, sights. You don’t forget it. Ever.”
Investigators say his alleged crime Spree started in 1991 in Rohnert Park and continued for 15 years, victimizing women in Davis, Chico, Woodland and Sacramento.
Using the same genetic genealogy website used to catch the Golden State Killer, investigators recently uploaded the NorCal Rapist’s DNA.
It allowed them to compile a family tree of relatives with common genes. They were able to track it back to their suspect in just 10 days.
Joseph Farina is Waller’s Defense Attorney.
“Until I have the police report, I can’t say ‘Well, here’s how much time you’re facing.’ I don’t know. I don’t know what’s in the police reports. I don’t know the extent of the DNA [evidence] or what other material they might have,” said Farina.
Waller allegedly bound and sexually assaulted his victims, before ransacking their homes.
For decades investigators have been collecting DNA, but with no known matches it wasn’t much help until recent advances in genealogy DNA changed everything.
“I was the only one who saw his face for a really long time. And that’s another reason why I wanted to come,” said attack survivor Maki Anderson. “I had seen his face when I was in fear. This time I get to see his face when he was in fear.”
Waller could face life in prison. He is due back in court on October 30. Those two survivors who were in court Monday said they will be back in court as well.