Sacramento’s infamous ‘Second Story Rapist’ to be considered for parole

Paul Eugene Robinson (Megan's Law)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A serial rapist and burglar convicted in the early 2000s for five sexual offenses against the same woman is eligible for parole in July, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has determined.

51-year-old Paul Eugene Robinson, dubbed the ‘Second Story Rapist’ by local newspapers for his preference of attacking women who lived in second-story apartments, was convicted in 2003 for the assault and rape of a woman in 1994. The Sacramento District Attorney’s office brought charges against him in 2000 just days before the statute of limitations ran out.

Robinson was specifically charged with five sexual assault offenses including rape by force, rape of a victim incapable of giving consent, oral copulation by fear, and sexual penetration with a foreign object.

Robinson was arrested after state computers matched his genetic code to a John Doe DNA warrant. He was the first suspect ever to be nabbed on such a warrant, and was accused by prosecutors to have been responsible for five similar instances of rape targeting women sleeping in their apartments. DNA warrants are used as quick ways to secure the arrest of a suspect when the statute of limitations on a crime is set to expire.

Prosecutors said at trial that, in 1994, a 24-year-old woman was jolted awake in the middle of the night to find a stranger standing in her bedroom holding a knife and gloves. That man, later revealed to be Robinson, told the woman he was there to “get some pussy” and berated her with racially-charged insults and threats to kill her.

Prosecutors said Robinson mounted the woman, held the knife to her chest, and covered her head with a pillow before raping her twice, both with his fingers and genitalia. When he was done, the woman said, Robinson threatened to kill her if she looked at him as he dressed.

The woman was swabbed for DNA the same day after a rape kit was prepared by police, where an assessment of semen collected from her vagina generated a genetic profile of an unknown male suspect based on 13 DNA loci, the specific location of a gene or sequence on a chromosome.

Over five years later, a criminalist matched the sperm sample with Robinson’s DNA profile, held in state computers due to his arrest on unrelated charges, the previous DNA-only search warrant was amended to include Robinson’s name and was executed in September of 2000. It was later determined by experts that the likelihood of two people sharing Robinson’s identical DNA pattern was one in 650 quadrillion.

Several women who Robinson is accused of raping testified against him at trial, solidifying his guilt to a local jury, who found him guilty on all counts. Robinson was later sentenced to 65 years in state prison, a ruling that was upheld several times, ending at the California Supreme Court. Robinson’s lawyers had challenged his conviction and argued he was innocent.

Robinson’s eligibility for early release is based upon several factors including the state of California’s Elderly Parole Program, which allows parole opportunities for inmates who are 50 or older and have served a minimum of 20 years behind bars. District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who worked Robinson’s case as a young sex assault prosecutor, said Robinson’s parole hopes are beyond the pale.

“Our legislature has completely abandoned victims’ rights and their responsibility to protect society. Robinson is one of the most prolific serial rapists in Sacramento history,” she said. “It is disgraceful to Robinson’s  victims and dangerous for public safety that this predator is being considered for early prison release after serving a fraction of his sentence.“

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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