DNA RESULTS HELP LINK ‘SERIAL RAPE CREW’ TO SEXUAL ASSAULTS IN CALIFORNIA, DUO CHARGED IN CONNECTION TO CASES

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Source: San Bernardino Police Department, Joint agency release/Facebook

Mar. 15 2021, Published 11:09 a.m. ET

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Two men — described by police as a “serial rape crew” — are responsible for multiple sexual assaults in the Inland Empire area of California. 

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Multiple agencies worked together using DNA evidence to link 42-year-old Kenneth Watson and 23-year-old Barnard Saddler to various crimes, according to the joint agency news release.

The rapes took place in Ontario, San Bernardino and Riverside and each city’s Police Department and other agencies investigated. Authorities also stated that Watson was linked to a sexual assault in Portland, Oregon.

The San Bernardino Police Department investigated a sexual assault of a woman in 2019. San Bernardino Sgt. John Echevarria said in the video press release that the woman was walking when both suspects approached her. He added the victim “was grabbed, forced into a vehicle and forcibly raped.” 

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Another case took place in February 2020 and the victim was assaulted by one of the suspects, according to the news release. She was walking when Watson convinced her to get into his vehicle, where the assault took place. This victim was hospitalized after the attack. 

The Ontario Police Department investigated a case from October 2020. The victim was sexually assaulted by two men after they kidnapped her and drove her to a remote location.

Through DNA evidence, Watson was linked to all three cases and Saddler was linked to the San Bernardino and Ontario assaults, police stated.

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San Bernardino detectives used biological material to match both men to other unsolved sex crimes, which included a case from March 2019. DNA was also used to link Watson to an October 2018 rape and Saddler to a January 2019 rape.

Watson is also a suspect in a sexual assault case in Portland, Oregon.

Both men face several criminal charges, which includes sexual penetration by force, kidnapping, robbery, criminal threats, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and street terrorism.

Watson was arrested last month on suspicion of various crimes and is being held on $1 million bond. Saddler was arrested in Las Vegas and is awaiting extradition back to California, according to authorities.

San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Grace Underwood said they are aware of other cases involving the “serial rape crew,” and they will review the cases once they are submitted.

If anyone has information about cases involving either Watson or Saddler, they are asked to contact law enforcement. Additionally, reports and tips can be made anonymously through the We-Tip Hotline by calling (800) 782-7463 or by visiting the website

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