{child_flags:editors_pick}Police: Kruse says he was investigating video scams

{child_byline}CARISA CEGAVSKE

Senior Staff Writer

The News-Review

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It was Sen. Peter Courtney’s chief of staff who contacted police about a YouTube video that appeared to show Sen. Jeff Kruse masturbating, Oregon State Police records show.

The records, obtained by The News-Review Thursday morning, also show Kruse gave a different explanation to police than he did to the news media about the events that led to the video being posted online.

Kruse had earlier told The News-Review that he knew nothing about the video until police contacted him, and that he had been having a conversation with a woman he had met through a dating website. But he told police he had been investigating possible video scam operations, and that he had pretended to masturbate during the video.

Police records indicate Kruse was interviewed Oct. 25 after police received a tip from Courtney’s Chief of Staff Betsy Imholt. Imholt alleged she was concerned because the caption under the video includes a reference to 9-year-old girls, and because she thought Kruse might be a victim of a crime. Police found no evidence 9-year-old girls had been involved in or seen the video; however, they investigated the incident as a possible crime against Kruse. If the video was recorded without his knowledge, he could be the victim of the crime of Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image, police said.

The video was pixelated and grainy, police observed, but it clearly showed Kruse, and that he was in his living room, smoking and that he removed his shirt.

“In the video, his right arm appears to vacillate in a manner consistent with masturbation,” police observed.

A blonde adult woman can be seen topless in the corner of the video.

Kruse told police that “some time ago,” he became aware of “potential fraud and deception occurring on the internet against individuals in his district.”

Kruse said he “was told people were being targeted by individuals who were trolling on internet dating sites, faking relationships with people and then attempting to bilk money out of them by extortion or some other false statement.”

Kruse said he undertook an investigation on his own in order to “uncover the scope of the problem and work on legislative solutions.”

Kruse told police he communicated on Skype and Hangout with people he connected to via dating websites. He used his real name.

He told police a video had been sent to him, with a threat that it would be sent to his children. He said he wanted to send the information to the Department of Justice, but he learned that the suspects were not in Oregon, so little could be done to apprehend them.

Kruse told police it was possible Sabine Ravet, the name listed under the video, was the person he spoke to, but he wasn’t sure. He said he had spoken to several people. He said “Sabine Ravet” threatened to send the video to his senate colleagues. He didn’t pay, he said.

The video was uploaded to YouTube in April 2016.

Kruse told police he was acting during the video.

“He said he was not masturbating, only pretending to masturbate in order to see what would happen later on,” the police report said.

Kruse said he engaged in similar conversations a dozen or more times.

“He said he kind of got sucked into it because of the cleverness of the criminals,” the report said.

He also told police he used his real name and contact information on the dating sites because he was seeking a personal relationship.

Kruse could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(7) comments

jobuliga

Just sit back and watch what the investigators are doing. Kruse keeps changing his story, the investigators gave him enough rope to hang himself. Once he said he was being extorted it became a crime, and since we all know that didn't happen he will now be charged or threatened with filing a false report. It really is too bad, he just couldn't have done the right thing and left when he had a chance. As Billy Squier once sang "Stroke me Stroke me" quit stroking us Kruse and just go away for the good of the people of Douglas County. Lower your head and just walk away.

prmr

a

Mogie

I don't understand what "a" means? Is that some sort of code?

melrosereader

Kruse, you're an embarrassment to your constituents. Resign already.

asghf3

He sounds like a prude. If someone filmed him at his home, obviously it's a blackmail. But the whole "pretend" situation is laughable. I bet he doesn't poop either.

just me

that's enough for kruse for me

Mogie

"Kruse had earlier told The News-Review that he knew nothing about the video until police contacted him, and that he had been having a conversation with a woman he had met through a dating website. But he told police he had been investigating possible video scam operations, and that he had pretended to masturbatee during the video." Okay who did he lie to the police or the news paper? Like Judge Judy says "If you tell the truth you don't have to have a good memory".

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