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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Stanislaus County Man Charged with Cyberstalking Airbnb Guest

FRESNO, Calif. – A federal grand jury has returned a one-count indictment against Kevin James Strutz, 49, of Ceres, charging him with cyberstalking, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced today.

According to court documents, Strutz secretly made a video recording of an adult female who stayed 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 Facebook accounts, one of which used a false identity. The messages became increasingly aggressive and one included an image of the victim exiting a shower that had been taken without her knowledge or consent at the Airbnb residence. 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.

Law enforcement has learned that Strutz may have victimized more than one person. Anyone with additional information or who believes that they might be a victim can contact the FBI at tips.fbi.gov.

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 L. Gappa is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Strutz faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Any sentence, however, would 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. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Press Release Number: 
1:20-cr-217
Updated November 19, 2020