Joseph James DeAngelo, the man suspected to be the Golden State Killer, may eventually be linked to the 50 rapes currently attributed to the killer, but it’s unclear if he can be prosecuted for them.
That’s because those crimes were committed in the 70s and 80s, when California’s statute of limitations for sexual offenses was either three or five years, depending on what year the crime was committed.
It’s thought that 13 slayings, 50 rapes and roughly 150 burglaries spanning a decade are associated with the killer, who is also popularly known as the East Area Rapist or Original Night Stalker.
Tulare County authorities believe he’s the man they know as the Visalia Ransacker. While the Ransacker isn't wanted locally on rape allegations, it's possible law enforcement may try to tie unsolved sexual assaults from between 1973-1976 to DeAngelo.
DeAngelo was an Exeter police officer from 1973 until January of 1976, about a month after he's accused of shooting at Visalia officer Bill McGowen. Three months earlier, DeAngelo is accused of killing College of the Sequoias professor Claude Snelling. Police believe DeAngelo may have been trying to rape or kidnap Snelling's daughter, who woke up to DeAngelo standing over her bed.
DeAngelo, who was arrested in late April after investigators used DNA and a genealogy website to link him to cases that had long gone cold, has been charged with 12 murders currently associated with the killer.
Tulare County hasn't been added to the list because police didn't collect DNA at the time of Snelling's death.
In Santa Clara County, where two of the rapes occurred, Deputy District Attorney Terry Harmon says prosecutors can’t file charges against DeAngleo simply because the crimes happened so long ago, despite the recent elimination of the state’s statute of limitations for sexual offenses.
“Those are good things, but it doesn’t do anything for these 1978 rape victims, so it’s bittersweet,” Harmon said.
California eliminated its statute of limitations for sexual offenses in 2016. But that change only affects crimes committed after Jan. 1, 2017 or within the last ten years, the state’s previous statute of limitations.
According to Harmon, who oversees the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office sexual assault unit, any changes made since would not have grandfathered those 1978 attacks in.
In Sacramento County, which had more than half of the 50 rapes committed within its boundaries, prosecutors wouldn’t say if the statute of limitations bars them from prosecuting the rapes.
Sacramento County Chief Deputy Attorney Steve Grippi would only say his office is “still evaluating what additional charges can and will be filed,” via an email.
Over 130,000 pop culture devotees will come to San Diego's Gaslamp District for the annual four-day comic book convention Comic-Con, the big, bright and very heavily branded confab of costumed superfans and the corporate sponsors vying for their attention — and dollars.
There is a renewed call for protective barriers along the State Route 56 bike path where, in some sections, only a chain-link fence separates bike riders from freeway traffic.
Some tennis experts say San Diego native, Taylor Fritz is the best hope to be America's next great tennis star.
A citywide wellness program is in the works to offer San Diegans free health-related classes. Dozens of workshops will be held each year at libraries and recreation centers, according to the City of San Diego.
Major traffic is expected to start Wednesday evening as Comic-Con kicks off with preview night in Downtown San Diego. MTS officials are encouraging attendees to use public transportation and got into the SDCC spirit with an homage to the "Stranger Things."
A 28-year-old man died Wednesday after he was found shot in a car in San Diego's University Heights neighborhood, police said.
Comic-Con International, again expected to draw a wide array of fans of the popular arts, conducts its annual preview night at the San Diego Convention Center Wednesday night.
Dogs can be a man's best friend, but also a criminal's worst nightmare. In Wednesday's Zevely Zone, Jeff is in Miramar at the sheriff's K-9 training academy with the new recruits.
News 8 Sports Director, Kyle Kraska, spent a few hours with Padres all-time great Trevor Hoffman who is headed to Cooperstown to be inducted into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.
Cameras did not scare two men who were captured trying to break into a Mission Hills home in broad daylight while the homeowner’s teenage son was inside.