Kuhlman Found Guilty of Child Rape; Facing Life in Prison
A jury of four women and eight men finds a 42-year-old year old Prosser man guilty of child rape and now he's is facing life in prison.
Jonathan Kuhlman is guilty of raping one 14-year-old Kiona-Benton High School student and also giving that student drugs.
He is also guilty of communicating with a 15-year-old Ki-Be student for immoral purposes and also giving that student drugs.
Benton County Deputy Proescutor Anita Petra said she's thankful to the jury for taking another sexual predator off the streets of Benton County.
Kuhlman is guilty of 2nd-degree child rape and guilty on three other charges including communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and distributing a controlled substance to a minor with sexual motivation.
In her closing argument, Petra said Kuhlman is a sexual predator that hooks his young victims not with lollipops but with drugs and in this case, that drug being marijuana.
She said he communicated with these underage girls through Facebook and text messages to get them to hang out with him.
Both victims took the stand yesterday, one said Kuhlman forced her to perform oral sex on him and put his hands in her pants.
The other victim said he gave her drugs.
Petra said she hopes this verdict can bring some peace to the victims.
"They did it, it's now over," said Petra. "These girls can finally get closure. I'm ecstatic with the jury's verdict."
One of the girls testified, for the first time, that she had sex with Kuhlman when she was 15-years-old and performed oral sex on him.
According to court documents, this victim originally said Kuhlman only tried to have sex with her then took her back to school.
Petra said she will look into the new allegations and will consider looking at charging him for those actions as well.
Right after the verdict was read, the stepdad of one of the victims came out of the courtroom and alleged that once the camera gone, Kuhlman stood up, looked at his victims and threatened them.
The girls walked out of the courtroom hysterical and the prosecutor told them she will find out exactly what he may have said and that any information may be presented at the sentencing date.
Kuhlman's sentencing date is tentatively set for July 10th.