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DNA evidence leads to conviction of man for sexual assaults spanning two decades in Ventura County

Authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying the body of a man found on a Central Coast beach in January.
Ahmed Zayan
Prosecutors say DNA evidence linked a man to three sexual assaults spanning nearly 20 years in Ventura County

First attacks occurred in 2003, with final assault linked to man in 2020.

DNA evidence helped convict a Ventura County man of a string of sexual assaults spanning a nearly two decade long period.

Prosecutors say Rodolfo Fernandez Franco committed the first two crimes in February of 2003, in Oxnard and Ventura. They say the third attack happened in December of 2020.

Investigator say after the third attack, the 41-year-old Oxnard man left a mask behind at the scene of the crime. Oxnard Police detectives used DNA evidence from the mask to link Franco to the 2020 attack, as well as one of the 2003 assaults. They say further investigation tied him to the third crime.

He was arrested in 2021. A jury convicted him of five sexual assault charges. Franco potentially faces more than 60 years in state prison when he’s sentenced next month.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.