Orange County DA Files Charges Against Predator for 1981 Murder

February 16, 2021 Updated: February 16, 2021

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer has filed special circumstance murder charges against a man accused of abducting, sexually assaulting, and killing two boys in the 1980s in Southern California, after newly implemented directives from Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon forced L.A. prosecutors to dismiss the special circumstances and enhancements in the multiple murder prosecution.

Kenneth Kasten Rasmuson, 59, from Sandpoint, Idaho, is currently being charged in the death of “Jeffrey Doe” by the Los Angeles County DA’s Office. Rasmuson is accused of abducting a 6-year-old boy from his Anaheim Hills neighborhood, sexually assaulting him, and then killing him in 1981. Additionally, he is charged for the same acts with a second 6-year-old boy five years after.

“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. His crimes are the stuff of parent’s nightmares and I will do everything in my power to ensure that this pedophile is held accountable for his crimes and is off the streets for the rest of his life,” Spitzer said in a press release. “Jeffrey’s family will have justice.”

The Orange County DA (OCDA) has charged Rasmuson with one felony count of murder, one felony enhancement of special circumstances of murder during the commission of a kidnapping, and one felony enhancement of the special circumstances of murder during a lewd or lascivious act on a child under the age of 14. If convicted, Rasmuson could face the death penalty.

Spitzer has filed an amicus brief in Los Angeles Superior Court that seeks to oppose Gascon’s motion to dismiss the special circumstances and enhancements in the prosecution. Because Jeffrey Doe was kidnapped in Orange County, the OCDA has jurisdiction to file charges against Rasmuson, according to the press release.

“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,” said Spitzer.

Jeffrey Doe was riding his bike near his home in Anaheim Hills on July 2, 1981, when Rasmuson allegedly kidnapped him. His body was found the next day in Pomona.

According to OCDA Public Information Officer Kimberly Edds, Rasmuson was 20 years old when he committed the crime. He was caught 34 years later in Idaho—on Mar. 27, 2015—after DNA collected from Jeffrey’s shirt connected him to the murder.

The alleged murderer is also being tried in L.A. County for the 1985 kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of “Miguel Doe” in 1985 in Agoura Hills.

Rasmuson was previously convicted and served prison time for molesting an 11-year-old boy in Santa Barbara and abducting a 3-year-old boy from his front yard in Los Angeles, where he was found wandering on the street naked and alone.

Spitzer and his team will appear at the Pomona Courthouse on Feb. 22 to argue against the dismissal of special circumstance and enhancements in the prosecution.

Follow Drew on Twitter: @DrewVanVoorhis