Photo from Pixabay.
Photo from Pixabay.

It took almost three decades, but a rapist pretending to be a police officer who kidnapped a couple and sexually assaulted the man’s date has finally been convicted and sent to prison.

Orange County prosecutors are reporting the conviction in a cold-case kidnapping from 1993, thanks to work done to clear out a backlog of rape kits that retained evidence from long-ago crimes.

Michael Ray Armijo, 52, was sentenced to 24 years to life in prison on March 11, according to court records. He was convicted at trial Feb. 18 of two felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for the use of a gun.

The county received a $1.86 million grant to inventory thousands of kits taken after sexual assaults to identify which ones need to be tested, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Out of 6,350 kits, 3,704 were determined to be untested and 1,692 were eligible for examination by the Orange County Crime Lab, officials said.

One of those sexual assault kits led investigators to Armijo, who pretended to be a police officer on April 5, 1993, and forced a man and his date to drive from the woman’s home in Stanton, where the couple had parked, to another place in the city, where he ordered the man out of the car and then raped the woman, the District Attorney’s Office said.

After raping the woman he took their credit cards and driver’s licenses and threatened to kill them if they went to the police, prosecutors said.

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