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Napa rapist faces murder charge in Ventura

Napa rapist faces murder charge in Ventura

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A former Napan already convicted of rape is now on trial for beating, raping and murdering a Southern California teen.

Douglas Edward Dworak, 38, has been charged with strangling and throwing the body of Crystal Hamilton, 18, into the Pacific Ocean in Ventura County.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty. Hamilton was killed April 22, 2001. The capital murder trial began March 14 and the jury is expected to begin deliberations next week.

Dworak, now a resident of Oak View, about 10 miles south of Ventura, was convicted June 1, 1987, of raping a Napa mother at knife point. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison and was paroled in 1996. At the time of Hamilton's death, Dworak had been out of prison for five years and had been living in Ventura County.

He is married and has been working in construction, said Mike Frawley, Ventura County chief deputy district attorney.

According to the Ventura County Star, on the night Hamilton was killed she met up with Dworak near a pool hall he frequented when his wife was out of town. Hamilton, who lived in Oxnard, had made arrangements earlier to have her father pick her up in front of Ralph's supermarket. She had spent the preceding night with a friend. When her father arrived at 11:30 p.m. and could not find Hamilton, he assumed she decided to spend the night with her friend again, so he went home.

Hamilton's naked body was found that morning around 6 a.m. by a fisherman on the beach in Ventura. The coroner testified the teen had drowned after being strangled and raped, the Ventura County Star wrote.

Ronald O'Halloran, Ventura County chief medical examiner, testified the semen found inside the victim during the autopsy was confirmed through DNA testing to belong to Dworak.

At first Dworak denied knowing Hamilton, but later admitted to having sex with her the night she died, Frawley said. "However, he has denied killing her. We believe he killed her after he raped her so she couldn't identify him."

Dworak is a registered sex offender. Using this information, detectives obtained Dworak's address and arrested him at his home, Frawley said.

The Napa victim was one of the first witnesses to testify for the prosecution at Dworak's trial, Frawley said.

On Oct. 25, 1986, the Napa woman was raped in the driveway of her home in southwest Napa while taking groceries out of the trunk of her car. Dworak, who was 20 at the time, first asked the victim for directions, according to court records. When she was unable to help, he left in his Jeep and returned a short time later.

Dworak grabbed the woman from behind and held a knife to her neck, according to records. He then ordered her to get into the back seat and raped her, the records said.

Court documents state Dworak threatened to kill her if she did not let him get away. After he fled, the victim called the police. Dworak was arrested after the victim picked him out of a police line-up.

During that trial, witnesses testified seeing a vehicle matching Dworak's Jeep speeding down the street where the victim lived almost immediately after the incident.

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