DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) —  A man was convicted by a jury Thursday for a 2018 rape.

Edil Rodriguez was found guilty of the following charges:

  • first-degree forcible rape,
  • first-degree kidnapping,
  • assault by strangulation,
  • assault inflicting serious bodily injury,
  • assault on a female, and
  • assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Verdicts were returned after a nearly two-week trial, the Durham County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Durham’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative was integral in obtaining the conviction, the office said.

Evidence presented at trial included photographs of the survivor’s extensive injuries, DNA test results, and body camera footage.

According to testimony, the survivor and a friend had interacted with Rodriguez while out at nightclubs on March 4, 2018.

Get crime updates in your inbox – Sign up for CBS 17’s Crime Tracker newsletter

After leaving a North Durham club, they gave Rodriguez a ride. They were driving on Interstate 85 when the defendant forced the friend out of the moving vehicle, causing wounds to her side.

Rodriguez then drove the survivor to a park where he beat and strangled her to the point of losing consciousness and raped her, the DA’s office said.

Both victims, Rodriguez, and multiple experts testified, including the sexual assault nurse examiner who assisted the survivor after the assault, the analyst who performed DNA testing of the sexual assault evidence kit, and an ophthalmologist who treated a blowout fracture to the survivor’s eye.

Sentencing in the case will occur at a later date pending a sex offender evaluation.

The DA’s office and Durham police have worked together since 2019 to bring closure to cases brought through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. In that time, the office has obtained convictions against nine defendants including Rodriguez, in connection with 12 sexual assaults going back to 2005.