From Ralph Kraus, Fireland Patriots.

I hope everyone got the message that the sentencing was moved up to 10:00 am this morning. We met outside the Court House and prayed for 30 minutes. I would estimate around 40 observers entered the court room as spectators filling all available seats. 95% were Steve’s family, friends and supporters. From the Prosecution side, we saw only the owner of the house Helen Stein & someone with her.

No surprises in the sentence, except maybe the tone of the judge handing it down. First, the Honorable Dale Crawford quickly denied Steve’s motion to vacate the verdict and his call for a new trial. He stated there was nothing wrong with the makeup of the jury (multiple members of families serve together on same jury all the time?) and he saw nothing wrong with how he handled the alternate jurors or any other aspect of the trial. Again, nothing unexpected

Before he sentenced Steve, the judge acknowledged the 100 letters submitted to him in support of Steve. He said he read everyone of them (LOL). However, he told Steve from the bench, in an angry tone, that in his opinion what Steve did was despicable & Steve’s testimony was not believable. Again, he did not reference the jury, this was his opinion. The vitriol in his voice spook volumes. Steve will not have to serve time in prison but he will be on probation for 2 years and if he breaks any aspect of his probation, the judge angrily stated he’ll be sent prison for a min 6 months

Steve is fined $2,500 plus court costs and the judge stated there will be no restitution because the state “failed to prove the value of what was taken?”. So to sum it up, Steve has been convicted & sentenced, beyond a reasonable doubt, for a crime of theft, even though the property he supposedly stole has never been identified or testified to during the trial and for which no value has been proven? What property did Steve steal? Where is the proof? For this Steve has lost his state house office, his realtors license and his auctioneer license i.e. his ability to make a living.

I repeat, in my 76 years of life, many spent in politics, I have never seen, heard about or read about, a travesty of justice more outrageous than what has happened to Steve Kraus. I now believe, without question, that these whole proceedings, starting with the indictment, were instigated by political forces, that co-opted the judicial system in Ottawa County. Any impartial bystander reviewing what happened to Steve will find this trial to be a complete farce & sham.

Haven’t talked to Steve yet but I’m sure he’s going to appeal and I pray that he does. Somewhere there has to be justice for Steve. After all this is the Unite States, isn’t it? One thing I’ve learned folks and it’s scary. What happened to Steve can happen to anyone of us. The corruption in our political & judicial system falls all the way down from the federal to the local levels. Make no mistake this all started last year because the former Head of the Ohio Democrat Party was beaten and humiliated in a fair election. In retribution he went after Steve? How do people like him sleep at night?

Ralph