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Man Charged With Abuse of 8 Youths

A Palos Verdes man was charged Monday with 37 counts of sexually abusing eight boys from the Van Nuys area, authorities said.

Russell A. Kraus, 27, lured the youths, ages 13 to 17, in recent months to a Van Nuys apartment where he formerly lived by offering them Nintendo games and drugs, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Carol Fisch.

“The boys were mostly runaways,” Fisch said. “He would lure one in and then that one would tell another.”

Fisch said police began investigating when one of the boys filed a complaint. Kraus was arrested Sunday night at his parents’ home in Palos Verdes where he had recently moved, Fisch said. Officers found sexually explicit photographs of young boys, marijuana and LSD, the prosecutor said.

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At a brief session Monday in Van Nuys Municipal Court, Kraus’ arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 12. He was ordered jailed in lieu of $1-million bail.

Kraus, who police said was unemployed, was charged with 16 counts of engaging in a lewd act with a child, 11 counts of furnishing drugs to minors, six counts of oral copulation with a minor, three counts of photographing minors in sexual acts and one count of possessing LSD with intent to distribute the drug.

Kraus’ attorney, Gerald S. Tarlow of Torrance, declined to discuss the case.


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