SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Orange County's District Attorney Todd Spitzer filed a special circumstance murder charge Tuesday against Kenneth Rasmuson, a sexual predator who has been accused in the deaths of two 6-year-old boys in the 1980s.
Rasmuson had already been charged in the 1981 murder and sexual assault of Jeffrey Vargo, who was kidnapped from his Anaheim Hills neighborhood, and whose body was found in Pomona. Rasmuson was also facing a capital murder count in the 1986 death of a boy, identified by prosecutors as Miguel Doe, whose body was found in a remote creek bed near his home in Agoura Hills.
Spitzer filed charges from Vargo's home county due to recent moves by Los Angeles County's newly elected district attorney, George Gascon. Gascon's new directives forced Los Angeles County prosecutors to move to dismiss the special circumstances and enhancements in the multiple murder case, which Spitzer says he opposed in an amicus brief filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
"Jeffrey's family will have justice," Spitzer said in a statement. "I refuse to allow the LADA's 'one-size fits all approach' to prevent the family of a 6-year-old murdered child from achieving the justice that they deserve."
Spitzer said Jeffrey's kidnapping from Anaheim Hills gives Orange County jurisdiction to file charges against Rasmuson, who has previously served time for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in Santa Barbara County and a 3-year-old boy in Los Angeles. Rasmuson was tried and convicted of these crimes, but the murders of the two 6-year-old boys remained unsolved until he was arrested again in 2015 on suspicion of murder in Sandpoint, Idaho, where he was living at the time.
Prosecutors say Rasmuson's DNA was linked to the boys' murders at that point.
"We will not take any chance of having this sexually violent predator come in contact with one more child. If George Gascon refuses to follow the law in prosecuting a pedophile murderer, I will," Spitzer's statement said.
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