SANTA ANA – A 26-year-old man was convicted Thursday of kidnapping and raping a teenage girl in a van and attempting to abduct three other girls as they walked to school in Anaheim.
An Orange County Superior Court jury deliberated for about nine hours before finding Elias Omar Xicotencatl, 26, guilty of six felony counts for such crimes as raping a 15-year-old girl and attempting to kidnap and rape three others ages 11 to 16.
Xicotencatl faces a sentence of life in prison.
Deputy District Attorney Rick Zimmer has said Xicotencatl was a serial predator who attacked the girls all within a half-mile of Loara High School or Ball Junior High between 7:30 and 8:20 a.m.
“This is a man who was out hunting for teenage and preteen girls,” he said. “He’s looking for his prey.”
The first girl was attacked on March 31, 2011 when a man suddenly jumped out of a van and put a knife to her throat as she walked to Loara High. He shoved her into the back of the van, blindfolded her and then drove her to a location where he sexually assaulted her.
He then freed her and she walked to her high school, where she told the principal about the assault.
Xicotencatl’s DNA was found on the victim’s vagina, but on the witness stand, the victim, now 21, was adamant that he was not her attacker.
“It’s not him,” she said.
Her attacker was in his 30s or 40s, and stood about 6 foot 5 inches with a long, thick beard, she said.
But the prosecutor noted that the victim only caught a quick glimpse of the man before he blindfolded her. Moreover, he said, the victim gave police vague and contradictory descriptions after the attack.
“Even at that time she wasn’t clear and you expect her to be clear six years later?” Zimmer asked the jury.
Zimmer also noted that a witness who saw the man as he pulled the victim into the van described him as standing between 5 feet 4 and 5 feet 6 inches. Xicotencatl is 5 feet 7 inches, the prosecutor said.
Zimmer said Xicotencatl tried to…