A 53-year-old garage door repairman was charged Monday with raping a 9-year-old girl and a woman jogger in south Orange County in the 1990s and molesting a 12-year-old girl between 2002 and 2003.
Kevin Konther, 53, of the San Bernardino County community of Highland, was arrested Thursday at his home after investigators linked him to the 1990s attacks through a genealogy website, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said last week.
Konther is charged with two counts each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count each of forcible lewd acts on a child younger than 14 and lewd acts on a child younger than 14, all felonies.With sentencing enhancement allegations of kidnapping and sexual assault of multiple victims, he faces up to 140 years to life in prison if convicted.
Konther made his initial court appearance Monday, but his arraignment was rescheduled for Thursday in the Central Jail courtroom in Santa Ana.
Konther is accused of grabbing a 9-year-old girl walking home from a convenience store in Lake Forest at 6:40 p.m. on Oct. 21, 1995.
The girl’s attacker dragged her into a wooded area in Serrano Creek Park, where she was raped and then let go. She ran home, told her parents, and a search ensued that bore no results.
Konther is also accused of kidnapping and raping a 31-year-old woman who was attacked at 11:30 a.m. on June 2, 1998. She was jogging on a Mission Viejo trail near El Toro Road and Marguerite Parkway when she was dragged into some bushes and raped.
Investigators matched the DNA collected from the woman’s rape and linked it to the suspect in the 9-year-old girl’s attack, according to Barnes.
Over a 23-year period, investigators had checked the DNA against law enforcement databases with no luck. In August, using the same technique that led to the arrest of the alleged Golden State Killer, investigators submitted the DNA to an ancestry website and got a match to identical twins.
Konther’s brother was released from custody and investigators said they were confident they have arrested the correct suspect, Barnes said.
While investigating the attacks on the 9-year-old girl and the jogger, authorities also found evidence that Konther allegedly molested a 12-year-old girl three different times between January 2002 and December 2003, Deputy District Attorney Michael Carroll said.