A 54-year-old garage door repairman was ordered to stand trial Thursday on charges of raping a 9-year-old girl and woman jogger in south Orange County in the 1990s and molesting a 12-year-old girl between 2002 and 2003.
But an Orange County Superior Court judge knocked out two felony counts against Kevin Konther of the San Bernardino County community of Highland.
A count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and a count of aggravated sexual assault of a child – oral copulation with force or fear were dismissed.
Konther, who is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 6 in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, still faces two counts each of rape, forcible oral copulation of a victim and single counts each of forcible lewd act on a child and lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, all felonies.
Konther was arrested in January at his home after investigators linked him to the 1990s attacks through a genealogy website, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in January.
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.
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 in January.