UC Berkeley 'Safety Specialist' arrested in NorCal rapist case due to DNA evidence

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A man who worked at UC Berkeley as a safety specialist for decades was arrested as he arrived at work Thursday, capping a case that spanned six counties and 10 victims for the nearly the last 30 years.

Authorities identified the suspected 'NorCal Rapist' as 58-year-old Roy Charles Waller at a Friday news conference in Sacramento. He was booked into the Sacramento County Jail and efforts to contact him were not immediately successful. 

Waller is married and lives in Benicia. He worked in the Environment, Health and Safety office at UC Berkeley since 1992, the university said in a statement, where he managed programs to help ensure safety and training regarding the use of equipment and machinery. 

"We were shocked today to learn that a campus employee was arrested in connection with a series of rapes that occurred over more than a decade ago in several Northern California communities," campus spokeswoman Janet Gilmore said in a statement.

Waller is now on investigative leave from the university.

She added that there is no indication that any crimes occurred within the Cal campus. UC Berkeley began fingerprinting employee applicants in 2004.

Waller was charged with 12 counts of forcible sexual assault, plus enhancements. There's also allegations he used a gun, officials said. He's been awarded no bail. Arraignment is set for Monday at 1:30 p.m. in Sacramento.

He was linked to the crimes through DNA, officials said. 

"The answer has always been in the DNA," Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. "For over 27 years the individual who became known as the NorCal Rapist victimized at least 10 women in six Northern California counties."

She added: "For 27 years, there has been one common thread. His DNA. I have often said DNA is the silent witness to the truth." 

According to authorities, the DNA link was made through a genetic genealogy site called GED Match after the genetic genealogy "came in" in the past ten days. 

The crimes in this case began in 1991 in Rohnert Park and continued for 15 years in Sonoma, Solano, Contra Costa, Yolo, Butte and Sacramento counties. In addition to the city of Rohnert Park, the crimes occurred in Sonoma, Vallejo, Martinez, Woodland, Chico, with two sexual assaults in Davis, with the final crime in this case occurring in Sacramento in 2006.

Waller is accused of stalking women who lived alone or with female roommates, before attacking them. 

According to a detective on the case, the suspect would repeatedly sexually assault his victims. He would sometimes ransack their homes, and kidnap them. He would take victims to ATMs, where he would force them to withdraw money from their accounts. 

The suspect would often blindfold victims with duct tape and talk to them, sometimes apologizing. 

According to the SF Gate, white women were the first two victims in this case. Later, the suspect appeared to target Asian women. 

A detective spoke with one of the NorCal Rapist's victims about the arrest. "The victim was overcome and over the top with emotion and happiness to see that this person is in custody and that no one has to worry about him anymore. The victims in this case can stop looking over the shoulders... the victims in this case are the strongest and bravest people I know," she said.

Detectives believe there could be other victims in this case. Anyone who believes they have been victimized by the suspect is asked to call 916-801-1SPD.