Aug. 22—WILKES-BARRE — Many positive attributes were presented in court about a man from Carbondale who has volunteered his time as a firefighter, as an emergency medical technician, and helping annually with Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army.
But it was the lack of a criminal record for Jesse John Krzan that prevented him from spending more than a decade in prison.
Krzan, 26, was sentenced by Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas to five-to-10 years in prison for raping a female student inside her dorm room at Misericordia University on April 29, 2021. A jury convicted Krzan on charges of rape and sexual assault following a three-day trial in May.
Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Rebecca Anne Elo sought a higher sentence due to Krzan raping an unconscious woman, but Lupas noted sentencing guidelines called for a standard, rather than an aggravated, sentence.
Dallas Township police Det. Robert Odgers charged Krzan in September 2021, after investigating a report when the woman was transported by university officials to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township.
Krzan, who was not a student at Misericordia University, dated the woman for several weeks after they met on a dating app. Krzan broke off the relationship but remained friends due to his busy work schedule, and a medical condition the woman suffers as she passes out due to rapid heart rate.
During the trial, the woman said she suffered a condition in a classroom, causing her to sustain a concussion when she struck her head on April 29, 2021.
Krzan claimed she reached out to him and asked to come to her dorm room.
Surveillance footage played during the trial showed the woman meeting Krzan at an entrance door and escorting him through the dorm building to her room.
As they laid in bed, they kissed but she suffered a seizure type episode.
She testified she awakened to Krzan raping her.
Krzan's non-semen DNA was recovered from the woman's body cavity, Elo said during the trial.
Krzan's attorney, Paul Walker, described him as a "man of character" who volunteered for a number of civic and community organizations.
"This is clearly out of character," Walker said. "This accusation, in which he was found guilty by a jury, is completely out of character."
Krzan's mother explained her son's difficult upbringing in a plea for mercy.
Elo said she never heard an apology from Krzan, who adamantly denied he raped the woman.
The woman said she wanted to drop out of college to "make the trauma go away," explaining she has many sleepless nights from the traumatic experience she endured.