|For Immediate Release||For More Information Contact:|
|Date: November 27, 2017|
|Re: Zachary Kuhl||Phone: (209) 588-5450|
Sonora, California –On November 27, 2017 Zachary Isaiah Kuhl, 18, was sentenced by Judge Donald Segerstrom to 13 years in state prison after he pled guilty to violations of Penal Code section 288.4 (Meeting a Minor for Lewd Purposes), 459 (First Degree Residential Burglary, Person Present), 6 counts of 261.5(a) (Unlawful Sexual Intercourse), 2 counts of 288.3(a) (Contacting a Minor with Intent to Commit a Sexual Offense) and 311.11 (Possession of Child Pornography). Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter, who prosecuted the case, indicated the following as the main facts in the case: Kuhl made contact with the underage female victims over a multi-year period beginning as early as 2014. He befriended the victims, would eventually tell them he needed help and would threaten to hurt himself if they did not provide explicit photographs and videos of themselves. Feeling intense pressure, and not wanting Kuhl to hurt himself, the victims complied. With one minor victim he urged her to leave her home late one night in 2016 and eventually engaged in sex with her at a relative’s trailer. He then continued to have sex with her at the victim’s home when her single parent was at work. He had met that victim when he offered to help her and her mother move into their home. It was that victim’s mother who reported the case to police. When Kuhl was interviewed his cell phone was seized. It had a 61-digit passcode that Kuhl knew from memory, and when the phone was forensically analyzed Tuolumne County Sheriff’s detectives found numerous explicit videos and still photos from the victims. In several text messages the victims are pleading with Kuhl to stop the requests.