District Attorney: ‘Likely’ Prison Life Sentence Given to Serial Rapist


SUNBURY – A convicted serial rapist in the Valley has been sentenced to what is ‘likely’ life in prison. Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz says 46-year-old John Kurtz of Shamokin was sentenced 59-207 years in state prison for all 43 convictions on a series of charges including rape, kidnapping, burglary, strangulation and other related charges. Those incidents occurred against five different victims in three separate counties from 2012 to 2017.


Kurtz was convicted of the crimes last October, where state police testified he would break into victim’s homes, kidnap them and take them someplace else to sexually assault them. Kurtz is a former corrections officer at SCI Coal Township.


A statement from Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz:





SUNBURY, PA (March 2, 2021) – Northumberland County President Judge Charles H. Saylor sentenced John Edward Kurtz to Fifty-Nine to Two Hundred Seventy (59-270) Years in State Prison for all forty-three convictions including rape, kidnapping, burglary, strangulation, and related charges against five different victims in three separate counties from 2012 through 2017. The seven-day trial and sentencing were prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Julia Skinner and the arresting officers were PSP Trooper Joel Follmer and PSP Corporal Jeffery Vilello. Numerous other members the Pennsylvania State Police, PSP Crime Lab, PSP C.I.A. (Criminal Investigation Assessment) Unit, F.B.I – Behavioral Analysis Unit, PA Department of Corrections and others contributed to the investigation. Trooper Kevin Kearney was instrumental during trial preparation.


“PSP Tpr. Follmer and Cpl. Vilello conducted an exhaustive investigation which required a tremendous investment of time and resources in addition to using ultra-modern criminal investigative techniques which used the highest technology available” said Matulewicz.


“1st ADA Julia Skinner put hundreds of hours both throughout the investigation and in preparation for the trial and sentencing. She routinely works nights, weekends, and holidays to perfect her case including over one-hundred fourteen (114) hours in overtime on the trial alone. Skinner has a passion to see victims get justice. She is a true asset to the D.A.s office and I am extremely fortunate to have her as my number one sex crimes trial prosecutor. She constantly gives everything she does her all,” said Matulewicz.


PSP and the Northumberland County District Attorney’s Office worked closely throughout the entire investigation and prosecution.  “Skinner and Follmer made a great team, they worked tirelessly giving this investigation and prosecution everything and then some” said Matulewicz. Our residents are fortunate to have police and prosecutors with such a determined commitment to justice and the victims,” said Matulewicz.


“Kurtz would have to live to be over one hundred (100) years old before he even has a chance to see the light of day. It is likely a life sentence” said Matulewicz.



Approved for release,

Anthony M. Matulewicz III

Anthony M. Matulewicz, III

Northumberland County District Attorney


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