Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: Whatever happened to Eric Knapp, arrested many years ago for rape in Sacramento?
Submitted by: Emily, Sacramento
ANSWER: Eric Charles Rodney Knapp was sentenced in February 1994 to 98 years in state prison after a Sacramento County jury convicted him in connection with two sexual attacks, including one against a woman who reported she was raped in her bed as her family slept in their Citrus Heights home.
According to stories in The Bee, Knapp was a former National Guard military policeman who used his military training to overcome his victims.
During the trial, a 24-year-old victim testified that she was attacked by a man wearing a ski mask and armed with a butcher knife. She said he told her that if she resisted the rape, he would go to the adjacent bedroom and kill her 7-year-old sister.
Knapp also was convicted of raping a woman the previous year.
Another woman testified that Knapp stalked his victims, saying that he followed her for days in 1992 until she confronted him and threatened to "blow his head off" with a gun owned by her policeman father.
In 2006, a state appeals court ordered a hearing after the Citrus Heights woman recanted her story, describing instead a sexual assault that did not include rape. The woman said she had been coerced while making statements to law enforcement officers.
When questioned about the motives for changing her story, she admitted having exchanged at least 50 letters with Knapp over three years while he was in prison.
Knapp, 45, remains incarcerated at the Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown.
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