California man who accused twin brother of 2 rapes in 1990s is convicted of crimes
DNA evidence linked identical twin brothers to two rapes in the 1990s, and one accused the other of committing the horrific crimes.
Earlier this week, however, an Orange County jury convicted 57-year-old Kevin Michael Konther for raping a 9-year-old girl and 32-year-old woman in 1995 and 1998, respectively, after he accused his identical twin of committing the crimes when they were both charged in 2019. Konther was also convicted of molesting his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old daughter.
"Without the advances in DNA technology, we may have never been able to solve this case. But because of DNA and the persistent pursuit of justice by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Orange District Attorney’s Office, this monster has a name – and his name is Kevin Konther," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a Friday statement.
A genetic genealogy investigation linked both brothers to the two rapes in 2019 because they share the same DNA, and they were both arrested in January of that year.
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Investigators staged covert, recorded conversations between the two brothers after the arrests in which Konther made incriminating statements and admissions of guilt, according to Spitzer's office.
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In 1995, Konther attacked a 9-year-old girl walking home from buying school supplies in Serrano Creek Park in Lake Forest, California. He "grabbed her and covered her mouth while pulling her down an embankment and into a secluded wooded park." He also threatened her with a knife, telling her not to scream. He raped the girl even after she told him she was just 9 years old, according to the DA's office.
Three years later, Konther jumped out of the bushes, naked, and attacked a 32-year-old jogger in Mission Viejo, California. He told her not to scream before raping her and running away. DNA collected from the crime scene matched the DNA collected from the scene involving the 9-year-old victim.
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Later, Konther was accused and convicted of molesting his girlfriend's daughter between 1999 and 2003.
"What monster jumps out of the bushes to rape an innocent little girl and then forces her to walk home naked while this child desperately tries to cover herself with anything she can until she can get home to the safety of her mother’s arms?" Spitzer said. "And when he doesn’t get caught he pulls another jogger into the bushes and rapes her. And when he doesn’t get caught again, he preys on an innocent young girl who has no choice but to be in the same house as him."
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Konther was convicted of two felony counts of forcible rape, two felony counts of forcible oral copulation, one felony count of a forcible lewd act upon a child, and one felony count of a lewd and lascivious act with a minor.
He faces a maximum of 140 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in March.