A man has been charged with two cold case stranger rapes in Berkeley. Image: Google Maps

Authorities charged a 44-year-old man who had been living in a tent in San Francisco with six felonies this week after DNA evidence reportedly linked him to two cold case stranger rapes in Berkeley, one of which dates back more than 10 years.

Police identified the assailant as Stevon Williams II and provided information about his recent arrest in response to a Berkeleyside inquiry over the weekend.

The first rape took place on the evening of Nov. 29, 2009, when a man raped and robbed a woman near Sacramento and Parker streets. About three years later, on June 22, 2012, a man kidnapped a woman at knife-point and took her from San Pablo Avenue and Grayson Street to a nearby parking lot where he raped and robbed her.

Police said neither woman had ever met the man who attacked her. DNA evidence was collected from both women during the subsequent police investigations.

The rapes took place less than 1 mile apart. BPD spokesman Officer Byron White said Williams “was familiar with the area” but shared no further details.

“After further investigation of the sexual assaults,” police identified Williams as the suspect in both cases and obtained a warrant for his arrest, BPD said in a prepared statement. White declined to say Monday how the cases came to be solved after so many years.

On Friday, police in San Francisco found Williams sleeping in a tent near Fourth and King streets and turned him over to the Berkeley Police Department. According to booking records online, Williams was arrested just before 7 a.m.

On Monday, the Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Williams with several felonies in connection with each case: sodomy, forced oral copulation and robbery in connection with the 2009 attack; and rape, forced oral copulation and robbery in connection with the 2012 attack.

The DA’s office has also charged Williams with a number of special allegations. They could increase the penalties against him if he is convicted.

According to Alameda County Superior Court records online, Williams has convictions dating back to 1999 for robbery, receiving stolen property, petty theft with priors and possession of cocaine for sale.

Williams remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, according to booking records online. No bail amount was listed as of publication time. He is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the East County Hall of Justice in Dublin.

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...