Man who cross-examined his own victim found guilty of Berkeley kidnapping

Kimberly Veklerov/File

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Whittier Buck Buchanan, a repeat sex offender, was found guilty of kidnapping and assault with intent to commit a sex crime Monday after cross-examining his victim during the trial.

Buchanan was also convicted of a failure to register as a sex offender after being convicted of three counts of rape, two counts of forced oral copulation and sexual battery in 1996. According to Alameda County deputy district attorney Alexander Hernandez, Buchanan’s sentencing is set for Dec. 8, 2017.

The crime took place May 2, 2017, after the victim, referred to as “Jane Doe,” returned home from Kip’s Bar in Berkeley. She took an Uber ride home about 2:30 a.m. and waited outside of her apartment after she could not find her keys and realized she was locked out, according to a summary from the DA.

Buchanan approached Jane Doe in a red Chevy Astro mini van and offered her assistance while she was waiting outside of her apartment. Intoxicated and mistaking Buchanan for an Uber driver, Jane Doe entered the car, and Buchanan agreed to drop her off at a Safeway to meet her father.

Buchanan, however, seemed to drive into the North Berkeley hills, the summary stated. Jane Doe asked Buchanan if he could drop her off anywhere, but he refused. In a physical struggle with Buchanan, Jane Doe escaped to the backseat.

After she offered him all of the money in her wallet, which Buchanan took, he still refused to let her go. Jane Doe managed to escape out the window, leaving her phone in the van, and she landed in the 1000 block of Monterey Avenue, where she began screaming for help. Neighbors in the area found and assisted her when they heard screaming.

Berkeley Police Department arrived on scene and tracked Jane Doe’s cell phone to Buchanan.

At the time of his arrest, he was still on parole for his previous convictions. Buchanan dismissed his lawyer and represented himself at trial, which allowed him to cross-examine Jane Doe.

Contact Adrianna Buenviaje at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @adriannaDC.