Ammon man charged with rape and possession of child pornography

Idaho Falls

Joseph Stanley Loertscher

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AMMON — A local man is accused of exchanging sexually explicit images with teenage girls and an alleged rape.

Joseph Stanley Loertscher, 19, of Ammon, was charged for crimes committed in April 2016 and July 2017.

Loertscher is being charged with one count of felony statutory rape of a victim under 16. He also faces three felony charges of child sexual abuse by soliciting a minor under 16 to participate in a sexual act, willfully possessing child sexually exploitative material, and causing a child to engage in or be used for explicit sexual conduct for the purposes of producing sexually exploitative material.

In June, law enforcement was informed Loertscher was exchanging illegal sexually explicit images with girls using applications like Facebook Messenger, Google Chat, Snapchat and text messaging, according to court documents. Loertscher possessed “well over 200 photos and videos which contained sexually exploitative material,” according to court documents.

The suspect allegedly communicated with several minors under the age of 16 via the internet. Documents show he was “asking them to send him naked photos of themselves, to sext him, role play and to have sex with him, knowing they are minors under the age of 18.”

Multiple victims were identified two of which were 15 years old at the time and another being 16.

Court documents show Loertscher admitted to sending nude photos of himself to the victims and to receiving sexually explicit images from all three.

Detectives said in a report that Loertscher had two Facebook accounts, both of which contained child pornography from the young victims.

Officers had confronted Loertscher at the Ammon Walmart after he had planned to meet up with one of the 15-year-olds in the parking lot. He admitted to purchasing a sexual vibrator for her before then. Officers saw in messages between the two that Loertscher had offered to buy it because she wasn’t old enough to purchase one herself. Loertscher is not accused of engaging in sexual acts with that victim.

Loertscher told officers about another then-15-year-old victim, with whom he had exchanged sexual pictures with in October 2016 through July 2017. Loertscher had stopped communication with the victim for a short while, after an officer allegedly caught them having sex.

That incident occurred near the Hillview Elementary school parking lot in April 2016. He was accused of statutory rape initially because he was 18-years-old and she was 15-year-old, but he wasn’t charged. Both were still in high school at the time.

Prosecutors said the rape victim’s family chose not to move forward with charges, as the girl had recently experienced a death in the family. As more evidence emerged regarding Loertscher’s possession of child pornography with multiple underage girls, official rape charges were filed in August 2017.

Loertscher was arrested in August and placed in jail on a $20,000 bond. Loertscher’s pretrial was waived Sept. 6 and he was released under pretrial services without posting bond. Loertscher is set to appear before a district judge on Sept. 19 for an arraignment.