Guilty verdict reached in Boca Raton cold case rape trial

Article and Video Courtesy of WPTV Channel 5

By Ro Norman

Published March 5, 2011

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BOCA RATON, Fla. - UPDATE: A jury found John Leonard McKenzie guilty of armed sexual battery. He will be sentenced later this month.


Wednesday morning marked day three of the jury trial against John Leonard McKenzie.

McKenzie was arrested by Boca Raton detectives on September 8, 2010 after DNA linked him to a 1989 rape case. Detectives say advances in DNA analysis helped them seemingly solve this decade old case.

McKenzie's wife Karen and his stepfather Thomas Willis were in court to listen to testimony. The seven member jury in this trial consists of four women and three men. The victim in this case testified on Tuesday and was not in the courtroom Wednesday.

John McKenzie


Prior to the start of the trial, the Palm Beach County State Attorney's office issued the following statement: "This case involves allegations of extremely violent acts which violate the dignity and body of the victim. Time does not diminish the harm inflicted. Law enforcement and the state attorney's office will use every proper tool to investigate and prosecute sexual offenses such as this one- no matter how long that may take."


McKenzie faces charges of sexual battery.

Prior to his arrest McKenzie was a manager at Beacon Property Management. He worked at the Boca Raton- based business alongside his wife and stepfather.

In a September 20, 2010 bond hearing the state attorney's office shed light on McKenzie's previous run-ins with the law including a 1978 conviction in Chicago for kidnapping, rape and bail jumping.

According to the state attorney's office, after being released in 1985 McKenzie spent more time in a Chicago jail for child pornography.

Karen McKenzie and Ernest Willis


DNA from 1989 sexual battery leads to arrest in Boca Raton