Plano Star-courier > News
North Dallas Rapist convicted of sexual assault of a child
McKINNEY -- A Plano man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Better known as the North Dallas Rapist, Robert Warterfield, 44, was responsible for a series of sexual assaults on children in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The particular incident he was convicted of occurred on Dec. 9, 1989, when he broke into the victim's home and took a sleeping 9-year-old girl from her bed. The child woke up when her head bumped against the gate to her backyard and she realized she felt cold. At first she thought her father was carrying her, but soon realized it was a stranger.
Warterfield took the child to a grassy location nearby, removed her pants and underwear, and sexually assaulted her. After the attack was over, Warterfield instructed the girl to leave the pillowcase on her head, so she couldn't see him, and count. The girl had "an overwhelming urge to spit" and did so into the grass and onto the pillowcase, which was still over her head. He then disappeared into the night.
Police recovered the pillowcase from the scene and presumptive testing showed the presence of semen. Full DNA testing was not done, however, until 2010 by which time the technology was available and the investigation began to point toward Warterfield as a suspect. DNA testing showed the stain on the pillowcase was a mixture of the victim and Warterfield's DNA.
The jury deliberated for 22 minutes on punishment before returning a life sentence. The jury not only convicted Warterfield of two counts of aggravated sexual assault but also two counts of indecency with a child. The jury also added a $10,000 fine for each count. The verdict came following a jury trial that began on Monday, and concluded with the jury verdict on Thursday evening, and sentencing this morning.
The sentence will be served consecutively with a prior life sentence given by a Dallas County jury earlier this year for an almost identical crime.
Under 1989 law, which applied in this case, Warterfield would be eligible for parole after 15 years on a life sentence. Now, because the sentence was stacked on the Dallas case, he must finish serving his Dallas County sentence before he can begin accruing time on the Collin County sentence.