Security Guard Convicted of ’89 Burglary, Kidnaping
A man arrested after a Woodland Hills woman returned home from the ballet to find him asleep in her bed was found guilty Tuesday of sexual battery, kidnaping for robbery and burglary charges stemming from an earlier break-in at another woman’s home.
Randall Don Graff, 24, of Canoga Park--described in court records as a security guard and installer of burglar alarms--was found guilty by Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Judith Meisels Ashmann after a non-jury trial.
Graff, who faces a maximum term of life in prison when he is sentenced April 23, was arrested March 19, 1990, when a woman returning from a ballet performance found him asleep on her bed. He was wearing a black ski mask and a “fanny pack” containing tools and a knife, according to trial testimony.
After his arrest, police connected him to a similar break-in on Nov. 19, 1989, also in Woodland Hills. In that case, a 43-year-old woman opened the door from her kitchen to the garage and was overpowered by a man waiting there.
The man then took property from her home and fondled her, she testified during the trial. She said she was afraid that the man would rape her, so she suggested driving him to an automated teller machine to get money. The intruder agreed and after taking $200 from the ATM released the woman at a nearby intersection.
A police detective testified that after Graff was arrested, he admitted both break-ins and his fingerprint was found in the first woman’s home.
Although Ashmann found Graff guilty of the three charges involved in the first break-in, she found him not guilty of burglary in the second incident because no property was taken and there was not enough evidence about his motive for being in the house.
Graff’s attorney, Randall Megee, had argued against the kidnaping for robbery conviction, which carries a life sentence, saying that the woman was taken to the ATM at her own request.
But Ashmann agreed with Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth A. Loveman, who said the woman’s suggestion was a ploy to avoid being raped or killed by Graff.