The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Man found guilty in Shafter rape and robbery


File photo

William Jack Hopkins will be sentenced in September.

A man faces multiple life sentences after being found guilty in a 2019 rape and robbery in Shafter.

William Jack Hopkins, 46, was convicted of kidnapping to commit rape, forcible rape, assault with the intent to commit sodomy, two counts of robbery, two counts of criminal threats, and felon in possession of a firearm.

On June 14, 2019, as reported in the Shafter Press at the time, Hopkins assaulted and kidnapped a woman after finding her and a man asleep inside of a vehicle in Shafter. Hopkins, wearing a bandana over his face, produced a gun and demanded money from the two people. The two gave him a few hundred dollars.

Hopkins then forced the man into the trunk of the vehicle. After the man used the escape latch to escape from the vehicle, Hopkins threatened to kill both of them if he didn't return to the trunk. The man returned to the trunk until he heard Hopkins leave with the female victim, police reported.

Hopkins took the woman several miles through orchards and up a canal road, eventually stopping. He then tied her hands behind her back, forcibly raping her. He also attempted to sodomize her. After raping her, he drove the woman to another orchard in Shafter and released her after telling her that he knew where her family lived and that he would skin her if she talked to anyone, police reported.

The woman was located by a citizen who was out for a morning run. Police said Hopkins was linked to rape by DNA evidence.

Hours before the incident, Hopkins was seen breaking into a vehicle in the parking lot of Peters Funeral Home in Shafter. Two men had confronted Hopkins about the break-in and Hopkins managed to flee the area, but not before leaving a couple of fingerprints that ultimately connected him to the crime, police reported.

According to Shafter Police Chief Kevin Zimmermann, Hopkins was located in Lake Isabella, and apprehended there.

Hopkins faces multiple life sentences as a result of the convictions. Sentencing is set for Sept. 8.


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