A truck driver was recently sentenced to federal prison for sex crimes perpetrated on a minor.
Kenneth George Zehnder, 37, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for transporting a minor across state lines to engage in unlawful sexual activity, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Zehnder previously pleaded guilty to taking a 15 year old girl out of the state of Michigan with the intent to sexually assault her.
Authorities say that in August 2019, “Zehnder took the 15 year old girl on an interstate trucking trip, where he sexually assaulted her nearly every night. After being assaulted in the cabin of the semi-truck, the victim texted 911, and police found the truck using information she provided.”
Zehnder was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting the victim in Minnesota.
Video from the truck showed Zehnder entering the sleeper berth and later emerging from the sleeper area while buttoning his pants, officials said.
Following Zehnder’s arrest, authorities say that a 12 year old girl who Zehnder took on a different out-of-state truck trip earlier that summer also reported to police that Zehnder sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions in different states during that trip.
Both girls reported that Zehnder had assaulted them for years before he was arrested.
“This sentence holds this offender responsible for the damage and terror he inflicted on this minor. I applaud her bravery for notifying the police and bringing him to justice. This office will continue to aggressively prosecute those who seek to harm children.” U.S. Attorney Ison stated.
“The defendant in this case sexually abused his victims for years,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “Those same victims demonstrated remarkable courage, bravely reporting the crimes in the face of their abuser and helping to bring an end to the perpetrator’s abusive actions. The FBI and its law enforcement partners across the nation will continue working to protect our communities from predators like Mr. Zehnder whose actions cause incalculable damage to their young victims.”