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Press Release

Ceres Man Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking Two Victims

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Kevin James Strutz, 51, of Ceres, pleaded guilty today to two counts of cyberstalking, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Strutz secretly made a video recording of an adult female who stayed, as an Airbnb tenant, at the residence where Strutz was living in Ceres in February 2020. The victim ended her stay at the residence when she discovered a message on a cellphone that Strutz had left in a shared bathroom. Over the next several months, Strutz continued to contact the victim through multiple Facebook accounts. The messages became increasingly aggressive, and one included an image of the victim exiting a shower at the Airbnb residence that had been taken without her knowledge or consent. Strutz sent the image to her with a demand that she send him a sexually explicit video or he would send the photo to her friends and family.

When investigators reviewed evidence, they learned that Strutz previously had sent a series of electronic messages and handwritten letters to a different female victim. More specifically, from approximately September 2018 through late December 2018, Strutz left 15 handwritten letters that the defendant had placed on the victim’s vehicle. Many of the letters contained threats designed to coerce the victim into engaging in sexual acts with Strutz. He also sent messages to the victim from five different Facebook accounts and attempted to contact the victim using phone calls and messages.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Ceres Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gappa is prosecuting the case.

Strutz is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on Nov. 4, 2023. Strutz faces a maximum statutory penalty for each count of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Updated May 22, 2023