A Palmdale man known as the “Aqueduct Rapist” was sentenced on Thursday to 23 years in state prison for sexually assaulting two female joggers, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
Heriberto D. Romero, 34, was found guilty on Aug. 3 of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and one count each of attempted kidnapping to commit rape, false imprisonment by violence and dissuading a witness from testifying.
Romero targeted female joggers in their 20s, according to authorities.
A 20-year-old woman was taking an evening run at Pelona Vista Run in January 2015 when Romero allegedly snuck up behind her and assaulted her, according to court testimony.
The woman tried to call for help during the attack and struggled with Romero over her cell phone, but he eventually succeeded in taking it away, prosecutors said.
Romero’s second victim was a 24-year-old woman who was jogging along the California Aqueduct on the afternoon of Sept. 15, 2015. He hid in the bushes before jumping out and sexually assaulting her, according to trial testimony.
Romero was ordered to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life, according to Deputy District Attorney Scott A. Yang.