To Whom It May Concern:
I want to start off by apologizing for not coming forward sooner. The truth is that I am very embarrassed, ashamed and regretful for what I did ten years ago and I'm not the best at handling or explaining my past. I'm also sorry I let Laura and our friends, family and fans step forward to defend me when I should've come forward first. I am sincerely grateful for all of the support we have received, especially from those of you who know my story. I want to set the record straight now though because I feel a lot of people wouldn't have come forward had they heard the truth from me. I understand there has been harassment going on from both sides and this is unacceptable, no matter where they stand on the matter at hand. After this, I'm hoping we can all make this about what is most important, and that is the music.
About ten years ago, I was a massage therapist and had been working in the profession from when I was 19 to about 29 years old. I was very good at what I did. One of the best. I had clients who called me their “healer” and I attended over 1,000 patients. During the last year, which was about 2007, I started to provide an “extra service” for women for extra money. I was young, dumb, poor and unprofessional and I fully admit I was wrong for doing it. I plead no contest to three counts of 4th degree criminal sexual conduct, which is not rape. At the time, I could not afford to go to trial. My family and friends helped me put enough money together so I could at least hire a lawyer and take a no contest plea for 4th degree criminal sexual conduct. I served 6 months in the county jail; 6 months house arrest; a year and half in relapse prevention therapy; 5 years probation and was put on the sex offenders list for a minimum of 15 years. I was fortunate enough that the judge granted me the minimum sentencing for this crime. At the time, I was filled with regret, remorse and sadness for what I did and thought my life and music were over as I knew it. Everything I had worked so hard, had now been flushed down the toilet due to my stupidity and carelessness.
There have been a lot of rumors going around about what my conviction was for. I will set the record straight right now; I am NOT a rapist nor do I condone such a horrible crime. Rape is disgusting and no woman or man should ever have to experience such a horrible thing. Even though that was not my crime, I still do admit that I abused my position as a massage therapist and that alone is terrible. I am an example of what no professional massage therapist should ever do and failed my colleagues and craft by doing what I did. I am very deeply sorry and forever apologize. Since this happened ten years ago, I vowed never to practice massage therapy again even though I am now eligible to do so again if I chose to, which I don't plan on. Next year, my attorney and I will be petitioning to have me removed from the list, as I will be eligible to be taken off.
I also want to set it straight that I never changed my name. My legal name is George Krautner, but I have been using Jorge Cortez as my stage name from long before I was ever charged.
The last ten years were difficult for me, especially after my poor choices left my life in shambles musically and socially. I am so grateful for Laura, with whom I was in a relationship for 7 years and met shortly after I was off of house arrest. She was understanding, compassionate and loving even after her horrible experiences as a woman in Chile. If it was not for her and her encouragement, I would not be in the music scene and playing music for my community at all. She brought me back to life and helped me to continue what I do best. So, I also want to set it straight that Laura has not harassed anyone. In fact, she has been taking a beating for all of this even though it was my crime. Since this all started, she has only tried to reach out to set people straight on what really happened to me. My band doesn't deserve to be attacked for my past actions. It has also come to my attention that some of the women and men who are against me and my band have been getting harassed as well. This is unacceptable. Even though their actions have caused damage and pain to me and my band-mates, they do not deserve to be harassed at all by anyone either. No one does. Any type of harassment is wrong. After what me and my band have recently been through, we do not wish it upon anyone. Please, let's all stop this. Everyone is entitled to their own factual opinion, whether we agree or not. Any crimes that have been committed during this whole situation will be handled in a court of law.
I am deeply sorry for failing my community almost ten years ago. But regardless, I am a changed man and am going to continue to uphold the law and make the world a better place through music, love, forgiveness and understanding. I love all my friends and family who have been by my side and I say to you my community: forgiveness is key. We all have faults. Not a single person on this earth is without fault. And as Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, cast the first stone.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this. And those who have taken the time to reach out and support, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
George Krautner, AKA Jorge Cortez