Crime - Sacto 911

Man convicted in parking lot rape cases after DNA match

A man was convicted Friday in Sacramento of raping three women by force in 2002 and faces life in prison.

Jurors found Jose Gomez-Garcia guilty of six counts of forcible rape along with forcible sodomy, forced oral copulation and a sentencing enhancement for attacks on multiple victims in a series of assaults from June to October 2002, Sacramento County district attorney’s officials said Friday in a statement announcing the verdict.

Gomez-Garcia, 42, faces a maximum of 261 years to life in state prison at a scheduled Aug. 18 hearing before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne Chang.

The victims immediately told authorities about the rapes, which took place after they each were taken to a deserted warehouse parking lot. But investigators could not find a suspect.

Years passed before investigators received the break they needed. Federal authorities took samples of Gomez-Garcia’s DNA after his 2004 conviction on felony charges of illegally re-entering the country after he had been deported, according to district attorney officials.

In 2010, U.S. authorities received a DNA hit linking Gomez-Garcia to the rapes. By then he was in Mexico after having been deported but was extradited back to Sacramento County in 2014 to face charges in the attacks.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith