WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) — A California man has been found guilty of raping a woman in Warsaw 22 years ago.
Rodriguez Todd, 53, of La Mesa, California, was convicted last week in Kosciusko Superior Court of Rape and Kidnapping.
It was Nov. 23, 1999, between 7 and 8 p.m., when a woman said she was kidnapped by a man wearing a fake beard and mustache from a Shell gas station in Warsaw. The woman said she’d been traveling from Logansport, where she lived, to Ligonier to visit her gravely ill father when she stopped to check her transmission fluid, according to the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office.
At the gas station, as the woman reached for the transmission dipstick, the man walked up to her, showed a knife, and said, “Let’s take a ride,” the prosecutor’s office said.
The man then forced her into her car and took her to a wooded area, where he raped her twice.
An hour later, the crying woman realized the man was gone, and she drove herself home to Logansport.
The woman had a sexual assault kit collected and evidence was passed on to the Indiana State Police. The case, though, went cold until 2019.
In April 2019, state police found a match between Todd and the DNA collected. Todd was tracked to San Diego, California, and a warrant was served.
In an interview with police, Todd said he’d lived in South Bend in 1999 and worked as a probation officer. He said he had several “one-night stands” and “often had sex in a car, usually in the woods or a secluded place,” the prosecutor’s office detailed.
Testing of Todd’s DNA showed “very strong support” that he was a suspect in the rape in 1999, the prosecutor’s office said.
As Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton gathered testimony for the case, the woman said she was “willing and she wanted to ‘nail him’ for what he did to her,” the prosecutor’s office said.
A jury made that happen.
Two other charges against Todd – Battery Committed by Means of a Deadly Weapon and Intimidation with a Deadly Weapon – were dismissed before trial due to the statute of limitations involving DNA, the prosecutor’s office said.
Todd will be sentenced Oct. 18. He could face 20-100 years and a fine up to $20,000, the prosecutor’s office added.