David Velasquez
David Velasquez (San Mateo County Sheriff's Office)

REDWOOD CITY -- A former Redwood City high school student faces a maximum of life in prison after being convicted of the attempted rape and kidnapping of a teacher which he testified was a prank intended just to scare her.

The jury deliberated just 90 minutes Wednesday before returning guilty verdicts an all charges against David Velasquez, 21, including kidnapping with the intent to commit rape. The convictions carry a possible life sentence for the ex-Summit Preparatory Charter High School student, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

In nearly emotionless testimony Velasquez told how he hid between some garbage cans in the school parking garage in January 2012 and then "popped out" behind the teacher. After grabbing her with one arm and pointing a knife he held in his other hand at her side, he ordered her to her car parked 80 feet away. The attack ended when another teacher happened upon the crime and screamed.

"This is what they call a senior prank," Velasquez said while under questioning from Deputy District Attorney Tricia Povah. "I decided to do one."

Velasquez is due back before Judge Lisa Novak for sentencing Nov. 8 for kidnapping and assault with intent to commit rape, false imprisonment and criminal threats. Defense attorney C. Zadik Shapiro didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the jury's decision.

Prosecutors argued Velasquez, who had worked for three years with the teacher referred to as Renee Doe, developed a sexual interest in the woman. Redwood City police said they found a photo on Velasquez's laptop computer of the teacher with a sex act drawn on her face.

Velasquez also had photos of her on his cellphone he'd surreptitiously taken during class, Povah said.

The evening of the attack Velasquez testified he put on sunglasses, a stocking cap, covered his face with a scarf and changed his shirt before crouching between some plastic garbage cans in the parking garage. When the teacher emerged from the school he said he jumped out behind her, prompting her to laugh at first.

But when Velasquez grabbed the teacher and then pointed a knife at her side, the laughter stopped, he said. As he commanded her to walk, she recognized his voice, prompting her to say 'Davey' the name he was know by at school. He denied being Davey and the confrontation eventually turned physical but was interrupted when another teacher walked into the garage.

Velasquez said the "prank" was supposed to be end with him pushing the teacher into her car and slamming the door. Redwood City police arrested Velasquez at his home shortly after the attack.

Despite Povah's request Wednesday that Novak hold Velasquez without bail, the judge kept his bail at $1 million. He remains behind bars at the San Mateo County jail in Redwood City.

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.