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Man sentenced to 90 years to life in prison for sex assault in North Highlands

Published: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 - 1:37 pm

A man convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman in North Highlands in 2012 has been sentenced to 90 year to life in state prison.

Francis Palacio, 26, was sentenced Friday by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne Gilliard. A jury on Jan. 16 convicted him of seven charges, including forcible sexual intercourse and kidnapping for the purpose of committing rape. The jury also found true allegations that Palacio kidnapped the victim during the commission of each offense.

On July 13, 2012, the woman was walking on Walerga Road near KirkbyWay when Palacio stopped her to ask what she was doing in the area, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release. After a brief conversation, Palacio pushed the woman over the guardrail at the side of the road, got on top of her and began strangling her when she screamed. When she attempted to wave for help, Palacio dragged her down the embankment out of view of passing traffic. He then sexually assaulted her and kicked her in the head multiple times before fleeing.

The victim called 911, and Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies responded but were not able to locate Palacio. He eventually was identified as a suspect through DNA analysis performed by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Crime Lab.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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