Authorities: DNA and fingerprints match 2008 Berkeley sex assaults where rapist broke in with knife, gun

Image via Facebook
Image via Facebook

A 24-year-old Berkeley man has been charged with four felonies linked to the sexual assaults of at least three female victims in the summer of 2008.

Police say Johnny Dunbar — then 16 — confronted all three victims in their homes while wielding a knife or gun. Berkeleyside was the first to report the arrest after seeing Dunbar listed in custody. The ages of the victims were not released.

In the first incident, on June 21, 2008, the victim reported her home had been burglarized. She later told police a knife-wielding man had raped her. Police found a palm print on the windowsill where the burglar had forced his way inside, according to court papers.

Less than three weeks later, July 8, the victim was in her home “when she was confronted by a suspect with a gun.” He forced her to orally copulate him, then raped her. DNA from that scene matched evidence from the first incident.


Two weeks later, July 21, the next victim told police she woke up to find an intruder with a knife standing over her. He told her repeatedly to “suck his ‘dick,'” according to court papers. He was “scared off” before completing the assault but left DNA at the scene that matched the earlier incidents, police said.

The trail ran cold after the sexual assaults stopped. Then, in March of this year, police collected Dunbar’s fingerprints for the first time after he was arrested on a warrant linked to a misdemeanor traffic violation. Dunbar had no prior criminal convictions, according to court papers.

In early April, detectives learned of a match linking Dunbar to the print from the windowsill from the June 2008 assault. There was a DNA match, too, according to court documents.

“Further investigation revealed that DNA recovered from Dunbar matched the DNA recovered from the three sexual assaults,” according to court papers.

Police searched Dunbar’s Berkeley home this week and recovered three scales, nearly 400 grams of marijuana, and more than $4,000 in cash, along with packaging materials. They said the recovery was “consistent with the sales of marijuana.” Dunbar was arrested Wednesday.


The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Dunbar — also known as Johnny Dunbar IV — on Friday morning with four felonies: two counts of forcible rape, one count of forcible oral copulation, and one count of attempted oral copulation.

Those counts include several clauses related to the commission of a sex offense during a burglary, the use of the knife and gun, the allegation of multiple victims, and the fact that Dunbar was a minor at the time of the offenses. He could be sent to prison if convicted.

Dunbar’s next court date was not immediately available.

For resources related to sexual violence support, please visit RAINN online. Have a question about a local public safety incident? Write to crime@berkeleyside.com. Photographs and videos are always appreciated. 

Related:
Police: Fingerprints link man to 2008 sexual assault series with at least 3 victims (07.08.16)


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