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 Felon who molested, threatened runaways to be sentenced next month

 

Last updated 12/12/2017 at Noon



A Jan. 4 sentencing hearing was confirmed today for a convicted felon who repeatedly sexually assaulted two runaway boys he took into his Anza home, using threats to keep them under control and later plotting

to kill them.

A Murrieta jury on Thursday convicted 55-year-old Randy John Morasch of two dozen felony charges, including forcible sodomy, kidnapping to commit rape, assault with a firearm, supplying pornography to a minor and solicitation to commit murder.

Jurors returned verdicts after deliberating for fewer than three hours on evidence and testimony from the nearly month-long trial.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Elaine Kiefer did not immediately set a sentencing date in order to hold a bench trial on the defendant's prior convictions, determining how many to factor into his sentence. Kiefer decided on one, following a hearing Monday at the Southwest Justice Center. All parties then agreed to the Jan. 4 sentencing. Morasch is facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.

He's being held without bail at the Byrd Detention Center.

According to Deputy District Attorney Marcus Garrett, the offenses occurred between 2006 and 2014 and involved a 16-year-old runaway boy identified in court documents only as "P.N." and a 17-year-old boy identified only as "A.B."

In the case of P.N., Morasch invited the homeless youth to stay with him at his house, located in the hills around Anza, a dozen miles east of Temecula, according to the prosecution.

Morasch worked to win the boy's confidence, allowing him to shoot guns, consume alcohol and ride ATVs, Garrett said in a trial brief. After the boy settled into the ex-con's home, Morasch showed him a homemade pornographic movie featuring his then-teenage stepson, Dennis Harrison, having sexual intercourse with a teenage girl, Garrett said.

While viewing the video, Morasch allegedly raped P.N. and forced him to perform oral sex, the prosecutor said.

P.N. was sexually abused on multiple occasions in the ensuing months, according to court papers. The boy made several attempts to get away from Morasch, who told the victim that he was "affiliated with the Hell's Angels and ... could have P.N. killed," Garrett wrote.

On one occasion, the teen ran out of the house, and Morasch "fired a gun" to stop the victim, who was not injured, according to the brief. Ultimately, the boy was able to procure help and flee the residence permanently.

In 2013, Morasch was introduced to A.B. through a mutual friend and offered to take the runaway into his house and let him stay rent-free, according to the prosecution. The teen was further permitted to use "vehicles, guns and drugs" to put him at ease -- and keep him under the defendant's sway, Garrett stated.

However, not long afterward, Morasch asked the victim to join him in his bedroom to watch porn, and when the teen tried to leave, the defendant "grabbed A.B., put handcuffs on his wrists, bent him over the bed and forcibly sodomized him," according to the brief.

Morasch began using open threats to make the victim comply with his sexual demands and deter him from leaving the property, Garrett said.

"These threats included occasions when the defendant pointed a loaded handgun in the direction of the victim and pulled the trigger," the prosecutor said, adding that the boy was not struck by gunfire.

A.B. reunited with his family six months later and revealed what had happened to him.

Sheriff's investigators were alerted and were about to serve an arrest warrant at the Anza property in June 2014 when Morasch fled to Northern California, according to court papers. He was tracked down by police near Sacramento, where he was taken into custody following a high-speed chase.

According to Garrett, after he was jailed, Morasch plotted to have his accusers killed and enlisted the help of his now-32-year-old stepson -- Harrison -- who followed the defendant's instructions and tried to frighten the witnesses against him.

Harrison pleaded guilty earlier this year to witness intimidation and was sentenced to six years in state prison. A longtime associate of Morasch's, Debra Machelle Suit, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a felony. She is slated to be sentenced Tuesday to a term of probation.

According to court records, Morasch has prior convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, evading arrest, burglary and receiving stolen property.

 

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