LIVE VIDEO: Channel 3 News at 11 p.m.    Watch
 

Parma: Sexual predator to be released from prison

7:37 PM, Jan 20, 2011   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

James Kronenberger, 47, is scheduled to leave the Marion Correctional Facility for good on Monday, having served the maximum prison term for one of the crimes.

"I think he's pretty much a dangerous individual," says Sean Kueller, who in 2003 became Kronenberger's last victim. Kueller, now 21-years-old, was in grade school when he was threatened on the phone by Kronenberger, who at that time had just been paroled.

Although Kronenberger never got his hands on Sean, the young man's family says they lived in fear, not knowing if their son was being stalked, followed, or somehow targeted by a predator.

"I had to be careful because he lived approximately two houses from my grade school," Sean told WKYC. "I could not take public transportation and it was advised that my parents always pick me up from school."

When the Kuellers were informed in 2003 of Kronenberger's criminal record, they were so frightened for their safety and that of their neighbors, they moved out of Cuyahoga County.

"The worry, the anxiety, the fact that we moved. You almost feel like you're the criminal and not the victim," said Sean's mother, Mary Dwyer Kueller. "We didn't know what would happen."

Kronenberger was eventually arrested on charges of harrassment and violating his parole, and was sent back to prison. His arrest on Kenmore Avenue in Parma is remembered well by Parma Police Detective Thomas Connor.

"I remember a pretty volatile situation down there on Kemore," Detective Connor said. "I remember getting phone calls, residents wanting to put signs up in their yards. People just kept calling that they had a sexual predator in the neighborhood and what could they do about it."

"It's true, Kronenberger is a sexual predator. He was labeled a predator by the courts and that's exactly what he is," the detective added.

Kronenberger's first imprisonment came after a 1987 incident in which he was convicted of trying to criminally entice children. He had access to police and military uniforms and was said to be a "master of disguise."

In 1993, he pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. He was paroled in 2001, with the court finding that a "non-prison sanction will adequately protect the public." That was followed by Kronenberger's harrassment of Kueller in 2003 and his return to prison.

But Kronenberger almost got out again the following year. The Parole Board had scheduled a hearing to release him. The Kuellers found out about it and hurried to Columbus to testify against him.

"We were told we had only a 20 percent chance of convincnig the Parole Board to keep him in prison, even with what had happened to our son," says Tom Kueller, Sean's father.

"We spoke from the heart. We spoke as a mother and father concerned for their son, and what he was going through at the time," Kueller told WKYC.

"They had already decided they were going to let him go, and when I heard that I couldn't believe it. I said how can that be," recalled Mary Dwyer Kueller. "We didn't do anything wrong, but we had to make all these changes in our life."

The Parole Board decided to make Kronenberger serve out the rest of his maximum sentence. That ends on Monday, January 24, 2011, a day the Kuellers have been dreading for eight years.

"This individual is going to be out free and without any supervision," says Tom Kueller. "It is very, very scary to us and I think it's something the community should be aware of."

Kronenberger indicated in a pre-release form that he would be living in a house in Columbus, and not coming back to Parma. Wherever he resides, he will have to register his address with the local Sheriff, and neighbors must be notified within 5 days that a sexual predator is living in their midst.

Because his prison term is up, Kronenberger will not have to report to a parole officer, and there will be no other supervision on him.

"I'm here to warn people," Sean Kueller says. "To the residents where he'll be living, to the children living around him. It's important those families are aware of his presence, whatever community he moves into."

"No matter where Kronenberger is, he'll be going after children," says Parma Detective Connor. "This is his M.O. This is what he's done. He has done this his entire life, prey on children. And that's why he is a predator."

 

WKYC-TV

Most Watched Videos