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 In The News
Bringing you the latest domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and teen dating abuse-related news from across Idaho.
Former N. Idaho Commissioner Convicted for Stalking Transferred to Jail in Lewiston

LEWISTON - A former Nez Perce county commissioner who was convicted of stalking and battery could spend the remaining 60 days of his sentence in a jail closer to home. The Lewiston Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/WOyiC8 ) Michael Grow was transferred Saturday from the Valley County Jail in Cascade to the Nez Perce County Jail in Lewiston. Grow still needs to qualify for work release by providing proof of health insurance to stay in Lewiston. He will be returned to Cascade if he fails to qualify. Grow pleaded guilty in December to charges of unlawful entry, stalking and battery related to a 2011 encounter with a woman. A felony charge was dropped through a plea agreement and additional jail time and fines were dismissed on the condition he successfully completes four years of probation

 

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/796092fc066740c6adade34935c42a90/ID---Commissioner-Sex-Charge

 

http://lmtribune.com/northwest/article_56c685b1-3cac-56fb-ad6e-f17d425f5b25.html

Local Advocates Promote National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

REXBURG - As Valentine's Day approaches, February is a month to think about true love. February is also National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and many people are looking to prevent toxic relationships on a local and national level. Sen. Mike Crapo, R - Idaho, addressed the Senate Monday, asking his fellow lawmakers to pass the Violence Against Women Act. DeAnna Palmer works for the Family Crisis Center in Rexburg. She's seen cases of teen dating violence over the years and knows how to spot the signs of abuse. Palmer works constantly to lend support and give advice to friends and family members of abuse victims.

 

Read full coverage/watch video: http://www.localnews8.com/news/Local-advocates-promote-National-Teen-Dating-Violence-Awareness-Month/-/308662/18423642/-/c5ncwvz/-/index.html  

February Director's Message - Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month

OVW Blog - OVW joins the nation in recognizing February as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAM). In his Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month Proclamation President Obama called on all Americans "to stand against dating violence when we see it." At a time when an estimated 1 in 10 teens will experience dating violence we all must take this opportunity to amplify our efforts and shine a spotlight on this important issue. Teen dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. It can include physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal violence or abuse, financial control and stalking. Teen dating violence has negative effects on the mental and physical health of youth, as well as on their school performance. It can also be a predictor of intimate partner violence and sexual violence perpetration or victimization in later life. 1 in 5 women and nearly 1 in 7 men who have experienced domestic violence first experienced this kind of violence when they were between 11 and 17 years old. And, we know that if we intervene early, we can often prevent perpetration and victimization in the future.

 

Read full blog post - http://blogs.justice.gov/ovw/archives/2295  

 

Idaho Lawmakers Will be Asked to Weigh in on Human Trafficking

Human trafficking happens in Idaho. But it's unclear how big the problem is. So Sara Thomas is trying to find out. She's the state Appellate Public Defender and a member of the Governor's Criminal Justice Commission. Thomas says it's tough to put numbers to human trafficking because most of the crimes are reported as something else. "What happens is, they're charged as sex crimes or they're charged as violent crimes but they're not necessarily labeled as human trafficking," says Thomas. One of the other things that we want to do this year is pass a law that says if you're profiting from this, if you're profiting from selling a woman or a child, what you end up with is profits. We want to take that away from you. We want to make it not profitable. We want you to forfeit that. Or if you're using a car to go out and sell a woman or a child, we want to take that car away from you, so we want to take the profits and the benefits away from the pimps. Sara Thomas plans to introduce the proposed legislation today in the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee.

 

Read or listen to full coverage: http://www.boisestatepublicradio.org/post/idaho-lawmakers-will-be-asked-weigh-human-trafficking  

 

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/idaho_senate_committee_introdu.html

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2013/feb/06/bill-cracks-down-sex-trafficking-minors/  

Idaho Supreme Court Upholds Domestic Violence Case

The Idaho Supreme Court says a judge correctly allowed testimony involving the statements of a domestic violence victim even though the woman later changed her story.

The ruling was handed down last week in an appeal from Darin William Parton, an Ada County man who was convicted of domestic violence and attempted strangulation after his girlfriend reported that he beat her and choked her until she was unconscious. Parton was convicted in a jury trial, but he appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court, contending that police shouldn't have testified about what the woman said when she first contacted them, and that expert testimony from a domestic violence investigator was inappropriate. The unanimous high court disagreed, saying the woman's statement was an "excited utterance" and was valid testimony.

 

http://www.idahostatejournal.com/news/state/article_9dc8f585-0040-5bcf-bac8-3f56c487a08f.html  

Photo of Local Wrestling Team Not Case of Hazing

NAMPA - The mother of a Nampa School District Freshman in a recently surfaced photo told the Idaho Press-Tribune Wednesday the actions depicted were not mailicious and did not intend harm. The photo has been shared on social media sites numerous times and, according to the student's mother and wrestling coach, has been incorrectly identified as hazing and bullying. A photo containing some members of the Columbia High School wrestling team shows one student taped to a chair, and others posing around him. Coach Todd Cady said the incident looks much worse than it actually was. Cady did not witness the incident, but some assistant coaches did see part of it. "They were just playing. That's about it," she said. "I have the utmost respect for this coach, his hard work and his staff. He is dedicated to these kids."

 

Read full article - http://www.idahopress.com/members/photo-of-local-wrestling-team-not-case-of-hazing/article_80eba788-70e6-11e2-a531-0019bb2963f4.html  

Drag Show Raises Money to Fight Bullying

TWIN FALLS - As the campaign to stop bullying continues, a club at CSI is trying to help. The new club spectrum held a drag show Saturday night to raise money to fight bullying. Spectrum is also working to promote acceptance, tolerance and respect.Hundreds of people showed up to support spectrum's drag show. The drag show attracted performers from across the state. Tonight's drag show here at CSI is not only for entertainment. Spectrum is also trying to raise awareness about bullying. "The reason we are putting the event on is because we as a club, CSI Spectrum wanted to raise money to be able to donate back into the community, specifically the Twin Falls school district for anti-bullying," said Tia Welch.

 

http://www.kmvt.com/news/local/Drag-Show-Raises-Money-To-Fight-Bullying-189548041.html       

Nampa Counselor Charged with Sexual Exploitation

NAMPA -- A 36-year-old psychotherapist was arrested for a sex-related crime, police said Sunday. According to Nampa Police, officers were called to the 1100 block of S. Ada St., where they identified Nampa resident Mark Wiseman. Wiseman was arrested on a charge of Sexual Exploitation by a Medical Care Provider. Wiseman provided psychotherapy for the victim in the case, police said. Under Idaho law, any medical care provider who engages in sexual contact with a patient or client, regardless of consent, is guilty of sexual exploitation. If found guilty, Wiseman could face a fine of $1,000, and could spend up to a year in jail. Detectives are now investigating if there are any more victims and ask anyone with information to call police at 475-5714.

 

http://www.ktvb.com/news/crime/Nampa-counselor-charged-with-sexual-exploitation-189581401.html  

Police: Buhl Man Repeatedly Stalked Women

TWIN FALLS - Prosecutors have charged a Buhl man with stalking because they say he stalked four southern Idaho residents over the past two years. The Times-News reports 51-year-old Bob Ekrut is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on first degree stalking and witness intimidation charges on Feb. 11. He's also set for a pretrial conference in March on four counts of second degree stalking in a separate case. Police say Ekrut harassed three women and one man by repeatedly calling them, leaving voice messages, sending text messages, sending cards, leaving notes on vehicles and driving by their homes incessantly.

 

http://www.ktvb.com/news/crime/Buhl-man-charged-with-stalking-189674161.html  

Sexual Battery Defendant Questions Alleged Victim

TWIN FALLS - A man acting as his own attorney during his sexual battery trial cross examined his alleged victim in court. The Times-News reports 44-year-old Robert Brackett faces several charges related to the alleged sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old girl in Twin Falls in late 2010. The woman testified Wednesday that she spent weekends and days off of school at Brackett's house and that they texted each other throughout their alleged relationship in the fall and winter of 2010. The woman said Brackett was controlling and asked her to send him nude photos of herself. On cross-examination, Brackett questioned whether the woman changed her story and whether she made similar allegations of lewd conduct against other men, both of which she denied. Brackett has been jailed since his arrest in January 2011.

 

http://www.ktvb.com/news/crime/Sexual-battery-defendant-questions-alleged-victim-189264291.html  

 

http://www.ktvb.com/home/Judge-declairs-mistrial-in-Twin-Falls-sexual-abuse-trial-176426321.html  

Nampa Police Train to Recognize Attempted Strangulations

NAMPA - There's new training for the Nampa Police Department which they say will save lives. At the Nampa dispatch center, dispatchers handle all types of calls including dozens of domestic violence calls every day. Some of those involve attempted strangulation, a felony in Idaho. But police say the majority of attempted strangulations don't leave visible signs, like bruising, even though they may cause serious internal injuries, so some abusers aren't caught. The National Family Justice Center Alliance says 10 percent of the women killed each year in Idaho by their partners are strangled to death. Research shows half of all domestic homicide victims were strangled at least once before they were murdered. That's where this new training comes in. The people who put the program together say men who choke women are the same men who kill women. "This training is absolutely homicide prevention," said Chief Craig Kingsbury with Nampa Police.

 

Read or watch coverage - http://www.ktvb.com/news/crime/Nampa-Police-train-to-recognize-attempted-strangulations-189135601.html  

 

Man Sentenced for Sexually Abusing Disabled Adult

A convicted sex offender who fled the state after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing a vulnerable adult has been sentenced to between 18 to 25 years in prison. The Times-News reports that David Knutsen was sentenced by 5th District Judge Richard Bevan on Tuesday. Deputy Prosecutor Suzanne Craig said Knutsen and the victim, a developmentally delayed 22-year-old woman, were both patients at a mental health hospital when Knutsen committed the abuse in 2009. After a jury found him guilty of four felonies in connection with the abuse, Knutsen fled to Nevada, where he was eventually arrested on charges including assaulting an officer. He spent more than 2 years in a Nevada prison before being returned to Idaho for sentencing.

 

http://www.ktvb.com/news/crime/Man-sentenced-for-sexually-abusing-disabled-adult-189035641.html  

No More Bullies: Red is the Symbol of Ending the Oppression

 It's not often that a ballet performance provokes fist pumping, but Footlight Dance Company is no ordinary dance company. Under the direction of Hilarie Neely, the group has taken up its biggest challenge to date: a mission to help end bullying. And judging by the reception of students across the valley, it's a topic that's dancing on the tip of many tongues. The dancers interpret the subject of bullying though ballet, modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop dance forms. In advance of the school shows, Neely went to the schools and asked for submissions in writing about students' feelings about bullying. She also taught students a "flash mob" response with arm movements and vocalizations of the mantra no more bullies so they could interact with the dancers at the end to Lady Gaga's anti-bullying anthem "Born This Way."

 

Read full coverage: http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005145965  

Consulate of Mexico in Boise and Women & Children's Alliance Form Agreement to Stem Domestic Violence

Consul of Mexico Ricardo Pineda and Beatrice Black, executive director of the Boise Women's and Children's Alliance, signed an "arrangement of cooperation" Thursday to strengthen the collaboration between the two groups to help victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. They will also work together to provide information about services to local men and women of Mexican origin, and strengthen programs like "No! to Domestic Violence." For more information: Sebastian Galvan Duque at the Consulate of Mexico in Boise, 954-8853.

 

http://blogs.idahostatesman.com/consulate-of-mexico-in-boise-and-women-and-childrens-alliance-form-agreement-to-stem-domestic-violence/  

Sex Trafficking Bill Introduced in Idaho Senate

A bill designed to close loopholes in Idaho laws regarding prostitution and trafficking minors has been introduced in the Idaho State Senate. "We determined there was human trafficking going on in Idaho," Sara Thomas, Idaho state appellate public defender said. "We had some gaps when it came to 16- and 17-year-olds." The bill will change, for example, cases where someone can only be charged with a misdemeanor for trafficking someone less than three years difference in age to a felony.

 

http://traffickingnews.org/sex-trafficking-bill-introduced-in-idaho-senate/

 

http://blog.lirs.org/headlines-trafficking-22/   

 

http://www.670kboi.com/common/page.php?pt=Idaho+Looks+To+Tighten+Sex+Trafficking+Laws&id=431&is_corp=0  

19-year-old Boise Man Charged with Lewd Conduct

 

Zackkary D. Wilcox is being held in the Ada County Jail on a felony charge of lewd conduct after Boise police say he had illegal sexual contact with a teenager several times over the last month. Boise police began their investigation into the 19-year-old Wilcox - who is already registered as a juvenile sex offender with the Idaho State Police for an unrelated case - just after midnight Saturday after getting a phone call from a third party. Police found Wilcox a short time later at a different home. By 3 a.m. Sunday, detectives gathered enough evidence that Wilcox had illegal sexual contact with the teen victim at several places in the city over the last month to arrest him on the lewd conduct charge, according to reports.

 

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/02/04/2438694/19-year-old-boise-man-charged.html 

In the News - February 25, 2013

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Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence
300 E. Mallard Dr., Boise, Idaho 83706 208.384.0419