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Letter: DA responds to accusations regarding Krauss case

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TO THE EDITOR:

A letter from Paul Krauss published in the April 22 Herald accuses me of misconduct.

Another letter by Mr. Krauss' mother raised questions about how bail was set in her son's case.

Mr. Krauss currently resides in prison as a result of his convictions on felony charges of sexual assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment following a jury trial March 30, 2007. He was subsequently sentenced to 25 years on the assault charge and six years each on the endangerment and imprisonment charges, with those terms to run consecutive to the longer sentence.

The jury convicted him after hearing evidence he held his estranged wife captive for four hours at knifepoint on the morning of June 2, 2006. During that time, he also sexually assaulted her by use of force, held a knife to her throat and used his hand to cover her mouth. He threatened to kill her. He bound her hands behind her back and covered her mouth with duct tape and tied her hands to a garage wall while he tried to hang himself. His estranged wife finally convinced him to leave. She was unharmed, as was her nine-year-old daughter, who was asleep in a nearby bedroom throughout the ordeal.

Mr. Krauss was then on the run for 12 days before he was apprehended at a hotel in or near Wabasha County, Minn. A subsequent search of the room turned up a loaded 9 mm handgun. All this time, Mr. Krauss had been under a court order to have no contact with his estranged wife.

A $100,000 cash bond was imposed by the court. Contrary to his mother's assertions, the DA's office did not set the bail. The court did so because of the circumstances of the incident and threat Mr. Krauss posed to his estranged wife and the community.

While awaiting his trial and, later, sentencing, he was housed in the Pepin County Jail under agreement with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. While in custody, he wrote letters to his estranged wife's nine-year-old daughter and his estranged wife's parents. He also began a small claims action in Pepin County against his estranged wife, even though he was under order to have no contact with her. He filed the claim in Pepin County.

His estranged wife notified our office of the filing and we wrote the court advising of the bond condition he was not to have any contact with his estranged wife. The criminal complaint -- a public record -- was sent to the court, pointing out circumstances of his pending criminal case in Pierce County. Copies of all correspondence were provided to Mr. Krauss.

This office did not take part in representing his estranged wife in the small claims action. The outcome of Mr. Krauss's small claims action was undoubtedly the result of the lack of factual evidence to support his claim.

Mr. Krauss is incarcerated as a result of his actions and behavior on June 2. His allegation I somehow affected the outcome of his small claims case is simply not true. We alerted the court to protect his victim from further harassment.

John M. O'Boyle

District Attorney

Pierce County

Ellsworth

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