Man convicted of raping taxi driver who picked him up at Kern County fairgrounds

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A jury convicted a man of raping a taxi driver who picked him up at the Kern County fairgrounds in 2012.

Erick Grayson, 44, faces 35 years to life in prison at his sentencing on Aug. 13. Prosecutors said he was found guilty on Thursday of rape by force or fear with enhancements for kidnapping during the course of a forcible sex crime, plus it was found true that he has been convicted of two prior violent “strike” offenses.

On Sept. 20, 2012, the victim was waiting for fares at the fairgrounds when Grayson asked for a ride, prosecutors said. He forced the driver to take him to an isolated area in an empty field, where he raped her in the back of the taxi van.

After the rape, Grayson pushed her out of the van and drove away with her cellphone and wallet, according to the District Attorney’s office. DNA from the case was identified in 2014 as a possible match with Grayson, and he was tracked down and his DNA collected. “The DNA evidence established that Grayson was responsible for the rape of the victim,” prosecutors said.

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