PHOENIX – Kevin Francois (D.O.B. 02/19/1966) was sentenced today to 137.75 years—the maximum allowed—in the Arizona Department of Corrections for the brutal rape of a 19-year-old ASU student in 2003.
“This case is an example of the importance of immediately reporting an assault and getting a forensic medical exam, as well as the dogged determination of investigators. Without this evidence, the perpetrator would never have been found and he would have been able to continue these heinous assaults,” said Bill Montgomery. “The sentence demonstrates the serious nature of this type of crime and our commitment to holding offenders accountable.”
In August 2003, the 19-year-old victim had recently returned to Tempe for her sophomore year at ASU. During the night of August 22, the victim woke to a man lying on top of her, holding a pillow over her face. Throughout the night, he repeatedly, brutally assaulted her.
When he was finished, he told her that he would be watching, and to keep a pillow over her face for the next twenty minutes. When she was convinced he was gone, she closed and locked the door to her bedroom, climbed out her window, ran to her roommate’s patio door and begged for help. She immediately reported the attack and received a forensic exam through which DNA and other evidence were collected.
Despite continued investigation and checks of DNA and fingerprint databases, the defendant was not identified until 2010, when he was arrested in California trying to break into an apartment occupied by young women. Following the arrest, his DNA was put into a database, and matched the DNA from this case.
Though arrested in 2010, the case took five years to get to trial, with the defendant representing himself much of that time, including at trial. The jury convicted the defendant within less than an hour of deliberation.
The defendant had been charged in a second case from 2007 involving very similar facts. Upon conviction in the 2003 rape, prosecutors dismissed the second case, due to the mandatory prison sentence the defendant now faces.