LOS ANGELES – Roy Dean Ratliff, shot and killed by deputies after kidnapping two girls at gunpoint, was wanted on rape charges and had served time for felony theft in at least two states.
Ratliff, 37, who once lived in Rosamond near the hangout where the girls were abducted early Thursday, was charged in October 2001 with five counts of sexual assault for allegedly raping a 19-year-old relative.
Bail had been set at $3 million, but he was never apprehended to face the charges.
The rape victim reported the crime to police immediately after it happened in October, said Dan Sparks, chief deputy district attorney for Kern County.
"He was at large when the case was reported," Sparks said.
"The warrant was more specifically for forcible rape, two counts of rape with a foreign object, attempted sodomy and sexual battery," Sparks said.
Mandy Baker, 18, a family friend, told The Associated Press that the rape victim was doing OK.
"She's doing fine. She's got her life back together," Baker said.
A rape conviction would have been a third-strike against Ratliff under California law, Sparks said. "He would have been looking at spending the rest of his life in prison, but that's not going to happen now."
The stolen Bronco that Ratliff was driving got wedged on a boulder as he tried to elude sheriff's deputies, authorities said. He was shot and killed by deputies.
His victims were rescued from the car by deputies who bandaged what appeared to be bumps and bruises, then they were taken to a hospital to be examined.
Ratliff had a series of convictions in the 1980s in Nebraska, according to Doug Warner, Scotts Bluff Deputy County Attorney.
Records show he was convicted in 1985 in Scotts Bluff County of misdemeanor theft. A year later he was convicted on felony burglary charges and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
In California, he has spent 13 years in and out of prison, said Russ Heimerich, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections.
In 1989, he began a two-year sentence on second-degree burglary charges. He served a year before he was paroled in 1990. A year later, while on parole, Ratliff was returned to prison, this time to serve a seven-year, four-month sentence for first-degree burglary. He was paroled again in December 1994, Heimerich said.
In February 1997, he was returned to prison a third time when he was sentenced to six years for possession of a controlled substance.
After he was paroled in July 2001, he failed to report again to his parole agent.
"He had been listed as wanted ever since," Heimerich said.
FBI Special Agent Daron Borst in Las Vegas said it appeared Ratliff was the same man who stole a 1999 Saturn sedan from a Las Vegas couple on July 18.
"We're fairly certain it's one and the same person," Borst said following a press conference with the couple at Las Vegas police headquarters.
"He shoved me, I was screaming and he ordered me not to, but I kept screaming," 65-year-old Roberta Young said during the press conference.
"How we both got away, I don't know and for him to be as bad as he was," said her husband, 69-year-old James Young.
Court documents show Ratliff's wife, Juanita, filed for divorce in 1996, but records show that as recently as 2001, they continued to share a home in Rosamond.
She told the Antelope Valley Press that Ratliff had been on the run since September, but that he called last week and asked to see his kids -- a request she refused.