A convicted stalker is released from jail days after pleading guilty and months before his sentencing. Prosecutors say he had been harassing the teenage victim since she was 11-years-old.
Kevin Klingensmith, 32, served 190 days behind bars and was released from the Sarpy County Jail Wednesday because he had reached the maximum jail time for his possible punishment.
The victim’s parents, Chryssi & Steve Zeleny worry for their teenage daughter because the man convicted of stalking her is free.
Klingensmith pleads guilty to a reduced misdemeanor stalking charge. He makes an “Alford Plea” which means he doesn’t admit to the crime but thinks pleading guilty is in his best interest because of other circumstances. A felony stalking charged was amended to a misdemeanor, and a protection order violation charge was dropped.
He's convicted of stalking the teen at her Gretna home in the spring of 2015. There were 3 incidents reported where a person was on their property, and at least once the suspect was banging on a back window. Klingensmith still denies being there, but prosecutors say these trail cam images are him.
"With him getting released yesterday I sat down with my daughter and all my kids and prepared them for the worst. I'm not going to bet on this guy will never come back because I know he will,” Steve explained.
The Zeleny's have had a protection order against Klingensmith since their daughter was 11 years old when Klingensmith was her bus driver and tried to buy her school photos without permission. In 2013, he was convicted of violating the protection order.
This week the Zeleny's are granted new protection orders.
"Jail was the only thing protecting her for that short amount of time,” Chryssi described. "I wish I could take her burden, I wish it was me.”
The Zeleny's say while Klingensmith was in jail there were no disturbances at their home.
They've prepared their kids to be aware, and protect themselves because they expect the stalker to come back.
"It's on us as parents. The judge, the judicial system in my mind failed us,” Steve concluded. "Anywhere that you send your kids and entrust them to someone else you need to trust that person as much as you trust yourself."
Stated in his release, Klingensmith does have a no contact order with the family, must find a job, be home by 5pm, and participate in a mental health program. He told the judge he suffers from a mental health disorder.
He will be sentenced in March, but cannot receive more jail time than he’s already served.