SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man who left behind key DNA evidence as he ate lunch with a detective has been sentenced to life in prison for raping two women.
Robert William Bradford Jr. was sentenced Monday to two life terms plus 52 years for sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman in 1998 and a 19-year-old woman last year. Bradford entered the women’s homes through unlocked doors in the middle of the night, police said.
Bradford agreed to meet Brea police detective Susan Hanna for lunch at a fast food restaurant to discuss the rape cases. Hanna took his straw while he wasn’t looking and sent it to a crime lab to test the DNA on his saliva.
His DNA matched evidence found at the crime scenes, police said.
"It was a shot in the dark," Hanna said. "It paid off."
Bradford’s lawyer didn’t dispute that police did their job fairly.
"He voluntarily had the soda with the cops," attorney Donald Barkmeyer said. "They were tricky. But they weren’t illegal."
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