Thursday, 13 June 2024

Craig gets prison for molestation

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Ronald Craig was sentenced to four years, eight months in prison Monday. Lake County Jail photo.

 

LAKE COUNTY – A Kelseyville man has been sentenced to state prison for the molestation of two young girls.


Deputy District Attorney John DeChaine reported that on Monday Judge Arthur Mann sentenced Ronald Kenneth Craig, 66, to the upper term of four years and eight months in prison for sex crimes against the two girls, ages 6 and 14.


Mann imposed the maximum prison sentence after denying the defendant’s motion for probation, according to DeChaine.


DeChaine prosecuted the case, which was investigated by Detective Mike Curran of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.


Craig had pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child molestation on April 27, DeChaine reported.


With regard to the 6-year-old girl, DeChaine said Craig pleaded guilty to attempting to commit a lewd or lascivious act with a minor under the age of 14 years in violation of penal code sections 664/288(a).


Attempting to commit a lewd act with a child under the age of 14 – in this case, with a 6 year old – is categorized as a serious strike in California, DeChaine reported. As such, any future felony conviction can result in the doubling of the new sentence.


With regard to Craig’s 14 year old victim, Craig also had pleaded guilty to committing a lewd act with a 14 or 15 year old in violation of penal code section 288(c), according to DeChaine.


DeChaine said when a defendant is accused of certain sex crimes in different counties, Penal code section 784.7 permits the prosecution of those crimes in a single jurisdiction.


The crime involving the 14-year-old victim was committed in Sacramento County, DeChaine reported. However, the Lake County District Attorney’s Office successfully obtained approval from Sacramento to prosecute Craig in Lake County for the crime involving his 14-year-old victim.


Craig was arrested on Aug. 4, 2006, and was booked into the county jail, DeChaine said. Throughout the year-long prosecution of the case, Craig has been held in custody with bail set in the amount of $250,000.00.


Craig also had been charged with annoying or molesting a third victim, an 8-year-old boy, according to DeChaine. The charge involving the boy was a misdemeanor charge in violation of penal code section 647.6(a) and was dismissed as part of the negotiated plea.


Though dismissed, DeChaine said it was dismissed in a manner that permitted Judge Mann to consider the allegation involving the boy in determining the appropriate prison term.


All three children alleged that Craig offered or gave them small amounts of money in conjunction with of each offense, DeChaine said.


Family members of each of the victims provided emotional victim impact statements at the time of Craig's sentencing, according to DeChaine. Crystal Martin of the Victim Witness Division of the District Attorney’s Office works closely with victims of sexual assault and provided needed emotional support in the courtroom.


After hearing arguments from the attorneys, Judge Mann imposed the maximum sentence despite the fact that Craig had no prior criminal record, said DeChaine.


The court found that despite Craig having no prior record, he took advantage of a position of trust, and also found that the 6-year-old victim was particularly vulnerable, warranting the upper term sentence, DeChaine reported.


When Ronald Craig is released from prison, DeChaine said he will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.


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