On Thursday, the 5th District Court of Appeal denied an appeal filed by Billy Ray Johnson who was convicted in 2015 of 24 counts of rape, along with home invasion robberies other crimes.
According to a statement released by the Kern County District Attorney, "the Court of Appeal noted that the evidence of Johnson’s guilt was 'simply overwhelming.' The convictions on all counts were affirmed."
Johnson, dubbed the Eastside Rapist, was sentenced of life in prison without the possibility of parole, with additional life sentences.
The District Attorney said that "case will return to the Kern County Superior Court to allow the trial judge to consider newly relaxed laws on firearm use in determining whether to reduce a portion of Johnson’s sentence pertaining to firearm-related crimes. "
Johnson committed his crimes in 2013. He "raped three women, tried to rape a fourth, and sexually assaulted a child during July and August of 2013. Johnson used duct tape and zip ties to restrain victims, and threatened children of the victims during his crimes." In all, his crimes affected a total of nine victims.
“Johnson’s crimes were devastating to the victims that suffered through them, and the entire community was in fear in 2013 as his repeated offenses accumulated," said District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer. "I am proud of the role I was able to play in ensuring that Johnson received a fair trial and was ultimately found guilty of all charges.”