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Mon, Feb. 17

Molester receives 30 years
John Kruse's last-ditch effort to change plea falls on deaf ears

John Kruse

John Kruse

KINGMAN - A Kingman man will serve 30 years in prison and a lifetime probation sentence despite an effort to change his plea at the last minute.

John D. Kruse, 33, of Kingman accepted a plea agreement in early November. He will serve 20 years in prison for sexual conduct with a minor, 10 years for the attempted sexual conduct with a minor and a lifetime probation period for attempted sexual conduct with a minor, attempted molestation of a child and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.

Kruse was originally charged with seven felony counts of sexual conduct with a minor, three counts of molestation of a minor and nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. The other charges were dismissed as part of the agreement and no further charges will be brought against Kruse involving the two victims in the case or any child pornography dated before Aug. 16.

On Thursday, Kruse asked Judge Steven Conn if he could withdraw his guilty plea. Conn warned Kruse that since the court had accepted his guilty plea through the plea agreement that it would require the court to find that a manifest injustice had been done when Kruse had accepted the plea.

Conn said that he saw nothing in Kruse's testimony that would lead him to appoint a new attorney to Kruse or allow him to withdraw his plea. He denied Kruse's request to withdraw his guilty plea.

Conn then sentenced him to 30 years and a lifetime probation term according to the plea agreement. Kruse received credit for 107 days in prison.

Kruse will have to register as a sex offender and wear a GPS tracking system when he is released from prison.

"I will not pretend this is a lenient sentence," Conn said. "I have sentenced murderers to less time. But I have no hesitancy in imposing this sentence.

"You took from these victims the life they could have had," he said. "Their lives are going to be different and worse because of what you did."

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