Suspected Pedophile Faces More Charges
A suspected pedophile who was charged with child rape just two days ago, returns to Benton County Court today to face more charges.
This morning the prosecutor charged 41-year-old Jonathan Kuhlman with the rape of a second teenage girl. He now faces multiple charges in the sexual assault of two minors.
The victims are both young girls from Kiona-Benton High School.
In court today the assistant prosecutor stating "Kuhlman is a predator and a threat to the community."
Benton County Sheriff's Deputy Joe Lusignan says that's the modus operandi of a sexual predator. Charming, affable, and incredibly dangerous.
Lusignan says a predator takes his time, prepping the potential victim over weeks and months. "He's targeting young teenaged girls around a high school. He's funny, he's telling jokes, he getting you at ease... The next thing you know they're in the vehicle with him."
Support Advocacy Response Community (SARC) Executive Director Jodee Garretson says this kind of behavior is called grooming. "The sex offender may be very attractive, very charming, really somebody that any of us would like. And that's what makes it so easy for them to get to the kids."
Jonathan Kuhlman is accused of being just that. According to court documents, he approached two Ki-Be High School girls, contacted them through Facebook and texts, finally luring them into his car, and then sexually assaulting them.
"He's targeting them, he's grooming them for blatant sexual contact or sexual activity after that," said Lusignan.
"If you're 15, 16 years old and someone older than you is paying that kind of attention to you, giving you gifts, you need to know that is not normal behavior," said Garretson.
Kuhlman is now charged with rape of a child in the 3rd degree and distribution of drugs to a minor after the second victim came forward.
Two days ago, he was charged with attempted rape of a child in the 3rd degree and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
As for parents in the community who are asking what they can do to keep on top of all this technology and teen behavior?
Garretson says parents have to communicate with their kids, and not be shy when it comes to intruding on their privacy, even the technical kind.
"Checking on their FB accounts periodically, checking on their phones, being curious about who they're spending time with, and keeping track of any secretive behavior, especially when it comes to online," said Garretson.
The sheriff's department believes there are still more victims in the community, and asking them to reach out to authorities.
Kuhlman will be in court again on Sept 5 for pre-trial motions. His bail is set at $30, 000.