Ex-Kern Co. detentions deputy branded sex offender

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A former Kern County detentions deputy was senteced Tuesday for sexual contact with a female inmate.

Ralph James Kress was accused of assaulting the woman in December while she was being booked into the Mojave jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism. The woman reported the assault after she was released from custody, and Kress was eventually fired.

Kress pleaded no contest last month in Kern County court to a felony count of preventing or dissuading a witness or victim from reporting a crime and a misdemeanor count of touching a person intimately against their will.

Tuesday, Kress was sentenced to one year and four months in prison. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender.