JURY CONVICTS KANSAS SEX OFFENDER OF SEXUAL ASSAULTS

An Emporia, Kansas man has been convicted by a federal trial jury of sexually assaulting two victims, including a 5-year-old who was assaulted at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Craig Ralston, 39, was found guilty on Friday, June 15, 2018, of one count of the aggravated sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years of age and one count of crossing state lines with the intent to commit rape.

Ralston is currently incarcerated in Kansas after being sentenced to nine years and two months in state prison. Ralston pleaded no contest in a 2009 Kansas case to two counts of aggravated indecent liberties involving a 12-year-old victim.

Ralston met both of his victims in the federal case while attending a church in St. Roberts, Mo.  Ralston was serving in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood when he sexually abused a 5-year-old child, which occurred between Nov. 1, 2003, and May 20, 2005.  Ralston has been discharged and is no longer active in the military.

In 2008, while living in Kansas City, Mo., Ralston raped an 18-year-old victim multiple times. Ralston also took the 18-year-old victim to Knoxville, Tenn., where he was picking up a vehicle that had been purchased for his then-wife to have upon her return from a missionary trip to India. Ralston raped the victim again while they were in Tennessee.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., deliberated for seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool, ending a trial that began Monday, June 11, 2018.

Under federal statutes, Ralston is subject to a sentence of up to life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller and Randall Eggert. It was investigated by the FBI.

Project Safe Childhood

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visitwww.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."