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Hemet man convicted after DNA links him to two unsolved rapes

Hemet man convicted after DNA links him to two unsolved rapes, prosecutors say
Hemet man convicted in decade-old rapes after DNA links him to the two crimes

A Hemet man was found guilty Wednesday after DNA evidence taken during a theft conviction linked him to two unsolved rapes committed roughly 10 years ago.

Kevin Lawrence Saint John, 45, faces 40 years to life in state prison after a jury convicted him of two felony counts of forcible rape, which carried sentence enhancement allegations, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

In 2012, Saint John's DNA was entered into a state database after he was convicted of receiving stolen property.

His DNA matched with evidence collected during an investigation into two rapes committed in 2004, the district attorney's office said in a statement. He was ultimately arrested at his home in Rancho Cucamonga.

Prosecutors said Saint John entered a 7-Eleven on Aug. 10, 2004, forced a 21-year-old store employee into a freezer and raped her.

He used empty boxes to shield his face from surveillance cameras as he exited the store.

Nearly a month later, he approached another 21-year-old woman, who was using a payphone in a Walmart parking lot, and offered to help her find a ride home. After she agreed to the ride, he drove her to an isolated construction area in Highland and raped her, prosecutors said.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 17 in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and throughout California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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