Woman charged with lewd conduct against child to be re-tried after hung jury
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BLACKFOOT — A local woman is scheduled to face a jury again after her first trial, at the end of October, resulted in a jury failing to come to a unanimous decision.
Stephanie Neal, 25, also known as Stephanie Fowler, was charged with lewd conduct with a minor under 16 when the case went to trial on Oct. 24, 2017. It concluded with the hung jury on Oct. 27.
Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney Cleve Colson told EastIdahoNews.com because the jury failed to reach a unanimous guilty or not guilty verdict the trial process must begin anew. Neal is now scheduled for a pretrial conference on Jan. 9. The trial itself is scheduled to begin Jan. 31.
Documents show the victim’s father alerted police in October 2016 to alleged sexual relations Neal had with his son. Neal was 23 at the time and the victim was 15.
Neal lived in an apartment near the victim’s home from July 2015 to September 2015. During that time she allegedly pressured the victim into having sexual relations with her on multiple occasions.
During a forensic interview, the victim told authorities on the first alleged incident he had been helping Neal move things into her apartment when she allegedly pressured him into having sex with her. He said Neal told him not to tell anyone what had happened because she would get in trouble if he did.
According to documents, Neal repeatedly denied having any sexual contact with the victim when questioned by police. She did say she and the victim talked about sex because he had allegedly told her he was thinking about having sex with his girlfriend.
Neal has not been arrested in relation to the alleged crime.
Lewd conduct with a minor carries a maximum sentence of life in prison with a possible $50,000 fine.