After seven years on the run, and an international manhunt, a convicted rapist was brought to justice in Orange County, CA. Ali Achekzai, now 33, fled the county in 2004 after being charged with two rapes and a sexual assault in 2002. This week, he was finally brought to justice, and was convicted. His sentencing for committing rape was 40 years to life plus an addition 21 years.
Between the eyewitness testimony of the victims and DNA evidence, Achekzai’s sex crimes attorney was ice skating uphill in this case. But the trial almost never happened.
Achekzai had managed to evade capture for 7 years, changing his name several times. It is believed that he bounced around locations including Afghanistan, Germany, Canada, San Francisco, England and Austria.
It was this last stop where authorities finally caught up with Achekzai. A Tustin police detective investigating the case submitted DNA evidence to Interpol, who then matched it to Achekzai, who was living under an assumed name in Austria.
Achekzai was extradited in 2010, and today, his victims have “payback”, as said in court by one of the women he assaulted.
Rape in California comes with a maximum sentence of 8 years. However, if the victim sustains serious bodily injury during the attack, the judge can add up to 5 more years onto the sentence. Rape is also considered a strike in California, which will double someone’s sentence if they are convicted of a second felony. The reason Achekzai received such a harsh sentence was due to all of these factors adding up.