SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer has filed special circumstance murder charges against a sexually violent predator for kidnapping a 6-year-old boy from his Anaheim Hills neighborhood, sexually assaulting him and then killing him in 1981. The same defendant is facing charges for kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and killing a second 6-year-old boy five years later.
Kenneth Kasten Rasmuson, 53, of Sandpoint, Idaho, has been charged in the death of the 6-year-old Jeffrey Doe by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, but newly implemented directives by Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon have forced Los Angeles prosecutors to move to dismiss the special circumstances and enhancements in the multiple murder prosecution.
Rasmuson has been charged by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office 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. These charges make Rasmuson eligible for the death penalty.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer also filed an amicus brief in Los Angeles County Superior Court opposing the Los Angeles District Attorney’s motion to dismiss the special circumstances and enhancement in its multiple murder prosecution of Rasmuson.
On July 2, 1981, 6-year-old Jeffrey David Vargo was riding his bike near his Anaheim Hills home when Rasmuson is accused of kidnapping the boy. Jeffrey Doe’s body was found the next day in Pomona, but it would be 34 years before a suspect would be arrested.
“Jeffrey’s family will have justice,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “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. 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.”
For this reason, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer filed the special circumstances murder charge relating to 6-year-old Jeffrey Doe in Orange County. He stands ready and able to achieve true justice for Jeffrey Doe and his family if Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon refuses to do so.
The fact that Jeffrey Doe was kidnapped from Anaheim Hills provides jurisdiction in Orange County to file charges against Rasmuson in connection with the death of Jeffrey Doe.
Rasmuson has previously served two separate prison terms for molesting an 11-year-old boy he lured into seclusion before sodomizing him and abducting a three-year-old boy from the boy’s front yard in Los Angeles before later sodomizing him and leaving him wandering naked on a street the next day.
Rasmuson kidnapped and sexually assaulted the 11-year-old boy in Santa Barbara County just two months after he is accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and killing 6-year-old Jeffrey Doe who was riding his bike in Anaheim Hills. He had asked the 11-year-old for help finding his handicapped dog.
Rasmuson was convicted of the sexual assault and sentenced to prison. He was designated a mentally disordered offender and was sent to Liberty ConRep in 1985 to receive treatment for his sexual disorder.
While under this supervision, Rasmuson is accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and murdering 6-year-old Miguel Doe in Agoura Hills in Los Angeles County in 1985. The Los Angeles County District Attorney has filed murder charges against Rasmuson in connection with 6-year-old Miguel Doe and 6-year-old Jeffrey Doe of Anaheim Hills.
A year after the murder of 6-year-old Miguel Doe, Rasmuson abducted a 3-year-old boy from his front yard. The boy was found the next day, naked and wandering on the street alone.
Rasmuson was sentenced to 17 years in state prison for kidnapping the 3-year-old boy, but the murders of 6-year-old Jeffrey Doe and 6-year-old Miguel Doe remained unsolved.
After serving his prison sentence, he was designated a sexually violent predator and was committed to Atascadero State Hospital to receive treatment. He was released from Atascadero in 2007.
Rasmuson was arrested on suspicion of murder in Sandpoint, Idaho on March 27, 2015 after DNA collected from 6-year-old Jeffrey Doe’s shirt connected him to the murder. Los Angeles County prosecutors also filed murder charges against Rasmuson in connection with the death of 6-year-old Miguel Doe of Agoura Hills.
Orange County District Attorney Special Prosecutor Pat Dixon is prosecuting this case. District Attorney Spitzer will appear with his team at the Pomona Courthouse on Monday, February 22, 2021 to argue against the dismissal of the special circumstances and enhancements in Los Angeles County’s prosecution of Rasmuson.