PROSECUTORS: Supervising Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore and Supervising Deputy District Attorney Keith Hill
On November 18, 2020, Roy Charles Waller was convicted by a jury of 46 counts involving kidnap, forcible rape, oral copulation, sodomy and foreign penetration. The case involved the assault of nine women in six counties and seven different cases between 1991-2006. The case was known as the “NorCal Rapist” series. The sexual assaults occurred in Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa, Yolo, Butte and Sacramento counties. Waller was sentenced to a total of 897 years to life in state prison for these offenses. The sentence is the maximum allowed by law.
By 2006, six different cases with biological evidence were linked to the same suspect. However, law enforcement was unable to determine the individual responsible because Waller’s DNA was not in the state’s criminal offender database. A taskforce in 2006 and 2007 attempted to solve the case but was unsuccessful.
In September 2018, biological evidence left at the crime scenes of one of the sexually assaulted women was used to develop a specialized DNA profile intended for investigative genetic genealogy (IGG). That DNA profile led investigators to a list of potential relatives of the suspect. No DNA or other genetic material from these potential relatives was shared with law enforcement. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office constructed family trees, which led them to focus on Waller. The identity of the serial rapist who went undetected for 27 years then became known.
On September 18, 2018, the Sacramento Police Department obtained an abandoned DNA sample from Waller’s residence in Benicia, which confirmed he was responsible for the sexual assaults of the nine women. Waller was arrested at his place of employment in Berkeley.
All nine victims testified during the course of the month long jury trial. Additionally, retired officers, detectives and sexual assault forensic nurse examiners were located in multiple states to come to Sacramento to present their testimony. Some of these witnesses were long since retired and in their 80’s.
The victims waited for decades for justice and it was only through the use of IGG that the identification and arrest of Waller was possible.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the original detectives from agencies in each jurisdiction on these cases who never gave up pursuing the offender.