A Northern California jury deliberated just 2½ hours before convicting a serial rapist on all charges Wednesday, bringing him to justice for a series of terrifying home attacks between 1991 and 2006.
The panel in Sacramento found "NorCal Rapist" Roy Waller, 60, guilty on 46 counts, including rape, sodomy and kidnapping, related to the assaults of nine women in six counties across Northern California.
"Twenty-nine years of waiting and waiting, amazing, amazing, great day, great day," said Nicole Earnest-Payte, who was assaulted in Rohnert Park and was Waller's first known victim. "A lot of work went into solving this case, couldn’t be more grateful to everyone involved."
Investigators identified Waller through the public genealogy website GEDMatch, which also was used to bring "Golden State Killer" Joseph DeAngelo to justice.
DeAngelo, a 75-year-old former police officer, pleaded guilty earlier this year to 13 counts of first-degree murder and 13 rape-related charges. DeAngelo is serving consecutive life terms.
"We’re just thankful that DNA was there and the victims were able to receive justice, no matter how long it took," Sacramento County Deputy DA Keith Hill said.
Evidence of Waller's DNA was at nearly all the crime scenes, making deliberations fast, according to Juror No. 7, who identified himself as Michael H.
"We all knew it was a slam dunk case," the juror said. "DNA don’t lie. Your DNA can’t show up at every rape case if you’re innocent."
Waller had been an employee at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked as a safety specialist in the Environment, Health and Safety Department. Police and school officials said none of the assaults are believed to have occurred on campus.
Waller's modus operandi was to learn a victim's name, study their daily routines, break into the women's homes late at night and tie them up. He largely targeted younger Asian women, authorities said.
Waller had a vast collection of sexually explicit images of bound Asian women, prosecutors showed at trial.
"It was heartbreaking, tear-dropping what them young ladies had to go through," Juror No. 7 said.
“It’s just terrible the way he prowled on them young ladies. They didn’t speak good English. They come to America figuring they’re going to make a better life and then all of this has to happen to them.”
Victim Theresa Lane said it was gratifying to stare down Waller as he sat, hands folded, at the defense table hearing all 46 guilty verdicts.
Lane fought her attacker, slashing his forehead, matching a scar on Waller's forehead.
"I just feel like there's some things that will never go away," Lane said her 1992 attack in Vallejo. "But he's going away."
His sentencing is set for Dec. 18.
Waller's defense team left court without speaking to reporters.