Tuolumne County District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke announced today that Gerald Allyn Kraft, 34, of Groveland, California, was sentenced by Judge Kevin Seibert to 3 years in state prison after being found guilty by a jury in August, 2020 of a violation of Penal Code section 261(a)(4), Rape of an Unconscious Person. Kraft had faced a maximum of 8 years in state prison.
Assistant Eric Hovatter, who prosecuted the case, indicated that back in 2017 Kraft befriended the then-18-year-old survivor who was homeless and living in a local park. Kraft invited her to stay in his bedroom and made attempts to have a romantic relationship with her. The survivor (she requested anonymity and was referred to as Jane Doe at the trial), who was sleeping on the floor of Kraft’s bedroom, made it clear that she was only a friend. In October 2017 the survivor awoke to the defendant having sex with her. The victim left Kraft’s house after the assault and went to a girlfriend’s house where she began communicating with Kraft over a period of several days via text messages. In those messages she asked him if he knew what he did was rape, why he had sex with her after she’d told him “no” repeatedly, and why he would do so while she was sleeping. The confidential victim reported to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office several days later and a case was filed in 2018.
At trial, the jury was shown the series of text messages that police had obtained from the survivor’s phone, including responses from Kraft indicating he was sorry and didn’t know why he did what he did. The jury was also shown text message threads recovered from Kraft’s phone, obtained via a search warrant. A sheriff’s deputy, trained in the process of recovering data from cell phones, testified that many of the more incriminating responses from Kraft had been deleted from his phone. The jury deliberated for under two hours before returning a verdict of guilty on August 13, 2020.
After delays brought on by the COVID pandemic and a subsequent attempt by Kraft to secure a new trial, which was denied by Judge Seibert, the defendant was finally sentenced. He will have to serve 85% of his term before being eligible for parole and he will be required to register as a sex offender for 20 years as a tier-two sex offender. Per District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke, this tier-based registration status is the result of changes to the sex offender registration laws that came into effect in 2021 and is based on the seriousness of the charge for which Kraft was convicted.
For more information contact: Eric Hovatter, Assistant District Attorney, 209-588-5450