A Santa Paula man will spend the next three decades in prison after he was sentenced in Ventura County for raping a woman nearly a decade ago.
Leroy Chad Tracy, Jr., 41, has been in custody since 2019 when his DNA was collected and linked him to a 2013 rape in Santa Paula.
The attack occurred May 20, 2013 in an area between Briggs and Peck roads in Santa Paula.
A woman was jogging in the area when she noticed she was being followed by a man she did not know, the District Attorney’s office said.
The man, later determined to be Tracy, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into a nearby orchard where he threatened her with a knife and then raped her.
He threatened to harm the woman and her family if she reported the incident, the DA’s office said. Despite the threat, she contacted law enforcement and reported the attack.
A DNA profile was obtained from the victim’s clothes and added to a national database, but the crime remained unsolved for several years.
In May 2018, Tracy was arrested on an unrelated incident and his DNA was collected. Several months later, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office received word that Tracy’s DNA matched the DNA collected from the 2013 rape and assault.
An investigation began and in April 2019, Tracy was arrested for allegedly raping the woman six years earlier.
In March, Tracy appeared in court where he pleaded guilty to one count of forcible rape with the use of a weapon and one count of forcible penetration with the use of a weapon.
Tracy appeared in court Monday where he was sentenced to 36 years in prison.