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Bringing you the latest domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and adolescent relationship abuse-related news from across Idaho.

Learn About Bystander Empowerment

The Green Dot Bystander Empowerment Program seminar offered by The Advocates is a chance to learn how to help a stranger in danger or a friend being abused, how to reduce acts of bullying and how to empower college students.  The Advocates is hosting two free informational seminars on the Green Dot, a bystander intervention strategy designed to reduce dating abuse, domestic violence, child and elder abuse, sexual harassment/violence, stalking and bullying, collectively known as "power-based personal violence." The Advocates' education and prevention staff led by Darrel Harris will provide participants with an overview of the program. Green Dot is an innovative, researched-based program that was developed at the University of Kentucky and has been implemented in colleges, high schools and communities internationally.  Green Dot is based on the simple premise that there are more individuals in a community and schools who are not hurting people than those who are.



Mountain Home Man Gets 15 Years on Child Porn Charge

MOUNTAIN HOME - Christopher James Swicegood, 22, of Mountain Home was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison for possession of sexually explicit images of prepubescent minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Swicegood to serve 35 years of supervised release after his prison term. He received 3.5 months credit for time he served in state custody. In pleading guilty to the federal crime, Swicegood admitted that he had posted child pornography on a foreign website and that he had traded child pornography with other users of that website. He also admitted sexual interactions, including sexual touching, with at least three different children in the Mountain Home area.


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/07/22/3291570/mountain-home-man-gets-15-years.html?sp=/99/101/102/1441/#storylink=cpy

69-year-old Nampa Man Sent to Prison for Sex Crimes

NAMPA - William James Brown was sentenced Monday to 10 to 15 years in prison for sexual contact with two girls under 10. Brown inappropriately touched the children on several occasions at his home. Authorities said he threatened the youngsters and used physical force to keep the girls from reporting the crimes. Brown initially admitted to investigators that he was guilty, but later denied any wrongdoing, saying he was "just brushing dirt off them," according to court records. "Mr. Brown took advantage of these two young victims by using his position of trust with them and their family, and then he emotionally and physically blackmailed them into keeping it a secret," Deputy Prosecutor Erica Kallin said.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/08/07/3314996/69-year-old-nampa-man-sent-to.html?sp=/99/101/102/1441/#storylink=cpy

Mountain Home Child Predator Sentenced

MOUNTAIN HOME -  Mountain Home man who admitted to sexually abusing several local children after police found illegal pornography on his computer is headed to prison. Christopher James Swicegood, 22, was sentenced Monday to 15 years in federal prison on the child pornography charges. Other charges, including lewd contact with a minor under 16, were dropped as part of a plea agreement. Swicegood was arrested in January after investigators raided his home, finding hundreds of pornographic images and videos of children as young as infants being sexually abused.

Read more: http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/crime/2014/07/23/swicegood-child-predator/13048827/

Caldwell Man Who Solicited Teen Girls on FB Will Serve at Least 5 Years in Prison

BOISE - Alex E. Rangel was charged with lewd conduct in Ada County for having illegal sexual contact in March with a 14-year-old girl he met over the Internet. He was also accused of trying to entice a 13-year-old girl through Facebook in November. Ada County Sheriff's investigators said Rangel had contact with more than two dozen young teen girls on Facebook.


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/07/08/3271812/caldwell-man-who-solicited-teen.html?sp=/99/101/102/1441/#storylink=cpy

With Church Response: Ex-Deacon in Nampa Sentenced to Prison for Molesting Girl

NAMPA - Last December, Alexander Gonzalez Garcia blamed Satan for causing him to molest a 12-year-old girl in a storage room at the Nampa Seventh-Day Adventist Church where he served as a deacon. On Tuesday, 3rd District Judge Bradly Ford sentenced the 57-year-old Middleton man to at least five and up to 15 years in prison for that felony. But the judge retained jurisdiction, which means Garcia will be evaluated in the prison system for one year, after which Ford can decide whether to release him on probation or have him complete his prison term. "Mr. Garcia used his position of trust in the church to take advantage of the victim, and he deserves to be behind bars where he can no longer be a danger to the community," Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor said in a news release. "This case should serve as a reminder to every parent that you need to be very careful of who your kids are hanging around with."


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/07/29/3301521/ex-deacon-sentenced-to-prison.html?sp=/99/101/102/1441/#storylink=cpy

Woman Found Strangled to Death in Payette Apartment

PAYETTE -- A woman is dead and her ex-boyfriend is in custody as police investigate a homicide in Payette. Payette Police Chief Mark Clark says Friday morning, the mother of 23-year-old Amber Leann Schwenn called police after her daughter failed to show for work at the Burger King in Payette. She told police Schwenn was supposed to drop her toddler off with the child's father. Clark says officers found the father, Schwenn's ex-boyfriend, 24-year-old Cody Hays in Payette. Hays was spotted driving Schwenn's car around town without her. A family member found Hays in the car and called police. Hays reportedly told police they could find Schwenn's body at his apartment and that he had killed her. Police found the woman dead inside an apartment on Center Avenue. Payette County Coroner Keith Schuller said Monday she died from manual strangulation. His findings were consistent with homicide.Idaho State Police were called in to process the crime scene while Payette Police conducted the investigation. Hays has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. The motive is unknown as this time. The toddler is safe and with family.



Woman Killed in Officer-Involved Shooting Identified

SANDPOINT -  Bonner County sheriff's officials identified the woman who was shot and killed by police on Tuesday as Jeanetta Marie Riley. No additional details about the deadly confrontation outside Bonner General Health were released. Riley, according to 1st District Court records, had a deeply troubled childhood and entanglements with the law as an adult in Bonner County. Riley was charged with felony domestic violence in the presence of children in 2008 for allegedly stabbing her then-husband in the back with a knife in Hope. The state and the defense moved jointly to have Riley undergo a mental health evaluation early on in the case. The attorneys described Riley as a "chronic" domestic violence victim with substance abuse issues and a history of being abused as a child. The defense introduced police reports and court documents indicating Riley's former husband had battered her when they were living in Kent, Wash., in 2004 and Grants Pass, Ore., in 2006. Riley was pregnant when she was battered in the 2006 incident, the police report states. Riley ultimately pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aggravated assault and was placed on probation after serving in the Idaho Department of Correction's retained jurisdiction program, court records show. Riley and her current husband, Shane, were arrested in March on misdemeanor charges of mutual spousal battery, but the cases were dismissed because they refused to testify against one another, according to court documents.


Man Indicted on 1st Degree Murder Charges for Deaths of Wife and Child

A Grand Jury indicted a Post Falls man on two counts of First Degree Murder Thursday. He is accused of killing his wife and child in inside the family's apartment. A family friend called police after Angel Morales-Larranaga, 24, reportedly came to her home and admitted to strangling his wife and child in July according to police. Officers found Facunda Valenzuelaleon, 24, and the couple's  6-year-old daughter dead inside the family's apartment. Larranaga appeared before members of the jury, who later determined he premeditated the murder. His trial will begin in the coming weeks according to the Post Falls Police Department.


Family, Friends Hold Vigil for Victims of Apparent Double Murder-Suicide

LOGAN, Utah - Family, friends and fellow Utah State Aggies gathered Tuesday night to remember the victims of a double-murder suicide near Utah State University. Roughly 50 people lit candles outside the Stilts Apartments at 636 E. 500 North in Logan, the scene of Monday's shooting that killed 19-year-old USU student Mackenzie Madden and her 25-year-old friend Johnathon Sadler. The shooter, 23-year-old Jared Tolman, who was a Utah Guardsman, recently broke up with Madden, police say. Investigators think he snapped in a jealous rage and targeted another young man, 25-year-old Eric Larsen, who was also involved with Madden.



Former Cop Exonerated of Battery Charges
TWIN FALLS - A jury found a former Twin Falls County sheriff's deputy not guilty of three counts of felony domestic battery Monday in Twin Falls County District Court. The jury, made up of one woman and 11 men, could have found Michael Cooper committed lesser misdemeanor versions of the charges, but found him not guilty of those as well. The verdict came after two hours of deliberation and three days of witness testimony. Cooper was charged April 17, 2013, with four felony domestic battery charges after allegedly abusing and intimidating a woman over the course of several years. Three of the four charges were leveled in Twin Falls County. The other was in Camas County. In May 2013, a judge dropped the Camas County charge after a preliminary hearing.

Read more: http://magicvalley.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/former-cop-exonerated-of-battery-charges/article_0f5a97c0-16dd-11e4-a459-001a4bcf887a.html
Idaho Justice Deny Appeal by Meridian Rapist

NAMPA - Michael Russo was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for raping a Nampa woman and appealed his 2010 conviction. Before the Idaho Supreme Court ruled, the Idaho Court of Appeals also denied the 38-year-old's attempt to change the outcome. Now, Erik R. Lehtinen, chief of the appellate unit for the Idaho State Appellate Public Defender's Office, is weighing whether to pursue one of Russo's two remaining options: petition for a rehearing by the state Supreme Court or petition for consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court. The latter, in a unanimous ruling in June, declared that law enforcement agencies must generally get a warrant before searching a cellphone. A Canyon County jury found Russo guilty of burglary, kidnapping and rape for his attack at knifepoint Aug. 27, 2009. Among the evidence against him was a short video, reportedly giving a close-up view of the rape, that was discovered on a cellphone taken from Russo's pocket when he was arrested outside his Meridian home later that day. A police officer saw part of that video while reportedly checking the phone to determine its ownership, and Russo's appeal contends that video should not have been allowed as evidence because the phone was searched without a warrant.


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/08/05/3310459/idaho-justices-deny-appeal-of.html?sp=/99/101/102/1441/#storylink=cpy

Portland Man Arrested on Prostitution Charge

BOISE - Officers from the Boise Police Department responded to a call of prostitution taking place at a motel in the 2700 block of Airport Way at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. A woman told police she came to Boise with Ellante Williams, 27, to engage in prostitution. She told officers she was from California and had met Williams in Oregon. Officers investigated and found evidence the suspect had taken all of the money earned by the woman. Williams was taken to the Ada County Jail, where he was charged with interstate trafficking and two counts of accepting the earnings of a prostitute.


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/07/30/3302571/portland-man-arrested-on-prostitution.html?sp=/99/101/102/1441/#storylink=cpy

Eagle Snow Park Creator Arrested: The Boise Resident is Charged with Attempted Strangulation, a Felony

BOISE - EaRyan Dean Neptune, 39, who has designed and built thousands of snow jumps, half-pipes and rails at some of snowboarding's biggest events - including the Olympics and the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships - was arrested early Tuesday after Boise police received a report just before 1 a.m. of a domestic violence incident in progress.

Police arrived at Neptune's home and took him into custody, police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said. He was arrested on suspicion of felony attempted strangulation and domestic battery in the presence of a child, and was taken to the Ada County Jail.


Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/07/23/3291782/eagle-snow-park-creator-arrested.html?sp=/99/101/102/1441/#storylink=cpygle

Charges Dropped in Sex-Slave Case
BUHL -- Felony rape and first-degree kidnapping charges have been dropped against a south-central Idaho man initially accused of repeatedly raping and beating a woman and holding her prisoner for 18 months in a booby-trapped home. The Times-News reports that the Twin Falls County Prosecutor's Office dropped the charges against 36-year-old Oscar Ayala-Arizmendi on July 17. Prosecutor Grant Loebs says he doesn't have enough evidence to prove the allegations. Ayala-Arizmendi's attorney, Keith Roark, says police did a poor job investigating and that the woman who made the accusations is a pathological liar. The 27-year-old Buhl woman reported on April 26 she escaped from a house in Buhl on April 8. Ayala-Arizmendi still faces a charge of felony meth possession. A trial is set for Nov. 17.

Rupert Man Faces Rape, Sexual Abuse
RUPERT - Jordan David Denton, 34, faces rape and abuse charges after he allegedly entered an apartment and forced a vulnerable adult to have sexual contact with him. Denton, of Rupert, is charged with felony counts of rape with a victim incapable of giving legal consent and adult sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult. The case is set to be arraigned at 9 a.m., Aug. 11, in Minidoka County District Court.

Read more: http://magicvalley.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/rupert-man-faces-rape-sexual-abuse-charges/article_e24cef8c-1c61-11e4-a85b-0019bb2963f4.html
Twin Falls Girl Raped by Man She Met on FB, Police Say

TWIN FALLS - A 15-year-old girl was raped by an 18-year-old man whom she met on Facebook after inviting him to her home, Twin Falls police say. James Hunter Cardinet, now 19, was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of lewd conduct with a minor younger than 16, a felony. His bond was set at $15,000 and was posted Wednesday. A judge ordered Cardinet not have contact with the girl.



Idaho Man Hides in Pond to Escape Police

An Eagle man's bid to escape arrest by wading into a pond on the Eagle Hills Golf Course didn't pan out Wednesday. Nathan M. McCoy, 21, was fished out of the water by deputies about a half-hour after he went in. According to the Ada County Sheriff's Office, McCoy told deputies earlier in the day that a woman had violated a no-contact order against him. When the deputies discovered that was not true, McCoy - who is currently on probation in a stalking case - took off running, they said. McCoy ran through several yards of nearby homes before ending up on the golf course. Deputies say they chased him on foot for about 15 minutes before he leapt into the golf course pond, located near the fifth hole. Deputies were able to coax him out of the water after about 30 minutes, during which time only one golf ball landed near him, according to the sheriff's office. He was arrested and charged with probation violation, filing a false police report and resisting arrest.



Heyburn Woman Faces Two Felony Sex Charges

HEYBURN - A Heyburn woman faces felony child sex charges after she allegedly forced a 5-year-old to have sexual contact with her. Makinzie Sarah Frost, 21, is charged with two felony counts of lewd conduct with a child under 16. A preliminary hearing is set at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, in Minidoka County Magistrate Court. The child said Frost would force him to have sexual contact with her before she would allow him to go outside and play. According to court records, the male child said Frost had sexual contact with him multiple times a day at three different locations, two locations in Heyburn and one in Burley, between July 1, 2012 and Aug 5, 2012. Frost is held on a $25,000 bond at the Mini-Cassia Criminal Justice Center. Charges were filed July 28. If convicted, Frost faces a penalty of up to life in prison on each charge.


Police: Visiting Utah Man Abuses Hollister Girl

HOLLISTER - A 63-year-old Utah man who was visiting Idaho sexually abused a girl in Hollister, police say. Michael Abel, of Riverdale, was arraigned Thursday on a charge of sexual abuse of a minor younger than 16. His bond was set at $75,000. The incident happened July 3, according to court documents. The girl told police Abel kissed her, then touched her breast, court documents say. When Abel pulled down her pajama bottoms, the girl said she "freaked out," ran away and locked herself in a bathroom.



Oakley Man Charged with Child Sexual Exploitation

OAKLEY - Ray Carl Short, 60, of Oakley, has been charged with felony sexual exploitation of a child after agents from the Department of Homeland Security and deputies from the Cassia County Sheriff's Office searched his home. A preliminary hearing in Cassia County Magistrate Court is set for 9 a.m. July 25. His $100,000 bond was reduced to $50,000 with the condition that Short not have contact with any child younger than 18. Short entered a plea of not guilty. If convicted, Short faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.



Mentally Disabled Girl Sexually Battered, Police Say

TWIN FALLS - A 41-year-old man inappropriately touched a teenage girl with a mental disability, police say. William Lee Emerick, of Twin Falls, was arraigned Thursday on a charge of sexual battery by lewd or lascivious acts on a minor child aged 16 to 17. A woman called police July 1, saying a man in their neighborhood near the College of Southern Idaho had sexually battered her daughter. The girl's brother told police he went outside about 2 p.m. and saw Emerick standing on a cross beam, reaching over their backyard fence and touching the girl's breasts. When Emerick noticed the brother, he walked away. The mother told police her daughter has a mental disability. The girl said Emerick sometimes talked to her outdoors and had touched her the previous day, police report. Once Emerick arrived home, police tried to talk to him, but he said he wanted to speak with a lawyer. Emerick's bond was set at $10,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday.



Former Idaho Man Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of Student
BOISE -  former Idaho man on the run for a decade before being arrested in Spain in July on child exploitation charges involving a German exchange student has been sentenced to eight years in prison. The U.S. Attorney's Office on Wednesday said 47-year-old Gerald Lee Ferrell received the sentence in U.S. District Court in Boise. Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Farrell to serve 15 years of supervised release. Ferrell in March pleaded guilty to interstate travel with a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. He also pleaded guilty to possession of sexually explicit images of minors. ``This defendant preyed upon a vulnerable foreign exchange student, new to this country, who did not speak English as her first language,'' U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said in a statement. ``The sentence imposed by this Court, some ten years after Mr. Farrell committed his crimes and fled Idaho for Switzerland, should send a clear message that perpetrators of these crimes cannot run and cannot hide.''

Read more: http://magicvalley.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/former-idaho-man-sentenced-for-sexual-exploitation-of-student/article_cca38b52-fca2-11e3-9950-001a4bcf887a.html 

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