SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Almost 30 years after the attacks began, the trial for the alleged 'NorCal Rapist,' Roy Charles Waller, 60, began Monday, Oct. 19, in Sacramento.
Between 1991 and 2006, Waller allegedly broke into dozens of homes late at night or forced victims to withdraw money from ATMs, often sexually assaulting victims.
Crimes linked to the NorCal Rapist closely resembled those of the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, with assaults occurring to a reported 10 victims in six California counties: Sacramento, Yolo, Butte, Contra Costa, Sonoma and Solano.
After years of no leads on the case, authorities were able to link DNA evidence directly to Waller with help from genetic genealogy and GED Match.
Waller was arrested at age 58 in Berkeley on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, 27 years after the first reported rape. He was an employee at the University of California, Berkeley at the time.
Different from DeAngelo in one aspect, Waller has previously pleaded not guilty and is now moving forward with a trial by jury.
Day one of the trial was a deeply emotional day in what will likely be a very long trial spanning several weeks, as this was the first time the victims in this case had an opportunity to testify against their alleged rapist and attacker.
Cameras were not allowed inside of the courtroom but one survivor was willing to share her story with ABC10, after testifying.
It's been 28 years since Theresa Lane, known as T. Doe in court, was attacked in her Vallejo home when she was 30 years old.
"I thought the whole time I was going to die, but I just sat there and kept going through the motions and hopefully I'd get out and I did," Lane said.
Similar to other victims Waller is accused of attacking, Lane said Waller broke into her home before 8:30 in the morning wearing a black ski mask while she was still in bed.
After failing to fight him off, she said he bound her legs and wrists together before tying her down to her own bed.
She said she was raped repeatedly three times over the span of nearly six hours until he left and she was able to break free. It was a moment she became tearful over in court.
Lane said she refused to look at him until the very end of her testimony.
"It just felt good to finally look at him in his eyes, whether he looked at me or not, it felt good just to look at him," she said.
Before that, Waller sat quietly next to his attorney as prosecutor Keith Hill made opening statements in this case, arguing that he should be considered guilty of all 46 criminal counts, including 21 rape charges, as well as kidnapping, burglaries and other charges.
Although Lane said she never saw his face during the attack, she said that she has no doubt in her mind that Roy Waller was responsible for her rape.
"And I pray to God that he's convicted and he wont do it to anybody else," she said.
In addition to charges filed in 2018 -- which included 12 counts of forcible sexual assault -- in March 2019, Sacramento County prosecutors filed new charges against Waller, alleging one additional rape and the kidnapping of two victims in Davis, Calif. in 1997.
Now, finally, the trial begins with Waller facing 46 criminal counts, including 21 rape charges. Waller is also being charged for kidnappings, burglaries and other crimes. The NorCal Rapist is facing life in prison if convicted.