IDAHO FALLS — A local man will spend between two and 25 years in prison for sexually molesting a child from the time she was 3 years old.
Twenty-year-old Dakota McClain was 6-years-old when he began abusing the victim, according to court documents.
McClain was sentenced on Nov. 29, and given two years fixed with a maximum of 25-years. McClain was originally arrested on a statutory rape charge in October 2016. He was 19 at the time and the statutory rape victim was 15. During that investigation, information about McClain molesting a different child when he was a juvenile came to light.
Court documents indicate the victim in the more recent statutory rape case said the sexual activity was consensual and when McClain asked how old she was, she told him she was older, never telling him she was actually a minor.
As part of a plea agreement, the statutory rape charge against the more recent victim was amended and included with the felony charge of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor under 16 with the first child victim. McClain pleaded guilty to the charge on Oct. 3.
Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Clark told EastIdahoNews.com he is pleased with the sentence, understanding the majority of McClain’s sexual misconduct occurred while he was a juvenile. According to court documents, McClain abused the child victim from the time she was 3 and he was 6 until she was 15 and he was 18.
The victim told police McClain began by telling her he was playing a game while touching her inappropriately. When the victim was in second grade she began to realize it wasn’t a game and began to feel guilty. She told police she tried to make McClain stop but he would do it anyway.
She told police she recalled an incident when she was 12 where she told McClain God would damn his soul. She said the abuse stopped for a short time after that.
According to court documents, the abuse didn’t stop completely until McClain tried to molest the victim when she was 15 and she informed a relative about the incident.
The victim said after each time McClain abused her he would cry and ask for her forgiveness and promise never to do it again. She said she believes the behavior was the result of a mental illness.
McClain’s mother told police he does have a learning disability due to frontal lobe damage from lack of oxygen when he was born.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly said the charge of statutory rape had been dismissed. This has been corrected. EastIdahoNews.com apologizes for the error.