SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Jurors in San Francisco have convicted a man of multiple felonies, including rape and sexual battery, in connection with the brutal attack of a woman in 2014.
According to District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s office, 68-year-old Santana Duane West was found guilty of forcible rape, assault with intent to commit rape, sexual battery by restraint, two counts of assault and false imprisonment following a nine week trial.
Prosecutors said on December 2, 2014, West accompanied the victim home and beat, sexually assaulted and threatened to kill her. He then physically restrained the woman from escaping. Hours later, the woman was able to escape and call for help at a neighbor’s home after West fell asleep.
“After many years, I especially commend my team for successfully prosecuting this case at trial and securing closure for the victim despite all of the challenges imposed by the pandemic,” Boudin said in a statement.
Several witnesses testified according to prosecutors, including the survivor and Sgt. Andrea Creed of the police department’s special victims unit, who received the woman’s initial statement and led the investigation. The jury also heard evidence of West committing a similar attack against another victim in 2002.
Assistant DA Courtney Burris, the case’s lead prosecutor said the survivor “has been steadfast in seeing the case through” after nearly seven years.
“She has courageously participated in every phase of this case, including testifying at a preliminary hearing five years ago. It is through her strength and perseverance that justice could be served,” Burris said.
West remains in custody at the San Francisco County Jail. It was not immediately known when the sentencing phase of the trial would begin.