Friday, February 19, 2021

New charges in 1981 child homicide case could trigger battle between SoCal DAs over Gascón sentencing policies | KTLA

New murder charges filed in Orange County Tuesday against a man with a long history of violent child sex crimes set up a legal battle with Los Angeles County prosecutors, who are already trying the man in the same case.

Kenneth Rasmuson, 53, was set to stand trial with the death penalty on the table when George Gascón was elected as L.A. County district attorney last year. But after Gascón was sworn in in December, he issued a series of progressive reforms, among them the ending of sentencing enhancements for most crimes.

O.C. District Attorney Spitzer, who has been critical of many of Gascón’s new policies, says he filed his own special circumstances charges against Rasmuson in Orange County Tuesday to try to ensure he gets the harshest punishment possible if convicted in the 1981 sex assault and killing of 6-year-old Jeffrey Vargo of Anaheim Hills.

It was previously agreed the case against Rasmuson — which involves charges in the deaths of Vargo and another boy abducted separately in L.A. County  — would be handled in L.A. County. But Tuesday’s filing could potentially change that.


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