85-year-old going to prison for molesting little girl

Crime Watch

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Charles Carroll | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — An 85-year-old man who molested a 4-year-old girl will serve up to 15 years in prison.

Despite a recommendation from his attorney for probation and a separate recommendation for a rider, Charles Carroll was sentenced to 15 years with one and a half years fixed on Monday.

Carroll has been in the Bonneville County Jail and will receive credit for his time served. He was arrested in April after the molestation occurred at his home.

He told EastIdahoNews.com he was wearing a robe while sitting in his dining room when the victim walked over and “started handling my genitals” for 3-4 minutes.

Since his arrest, he has maintained that he did nothing wrong and continued his defense while being sentenced Monday.

“I absolutely refuse to admit there was any sexual intent involved on my part on any of this that we have talked about,” Carroll said in his statements to the court. “(I) absolutely refuse to accept there was any sexual intent.”

Throughout the entire time Carroll was investigated and even in an interview with EastIdahoNews.com, he was open about what he did to the victim. He has maintained that there was nothing sexual about it – a claim District Judge Dane Watkins would not accept.

“There is nothing I have heard today from you or from anyone else that persuades this court that there would be any other purpose than sexual to a 4-year-old,” Watkins said.

Carroll claimed the incident was “educational” for the victim, that no one was hurt, that it was an accident and that he felt he was being victimized. Watkins said those claims are unacceptable.

“As I look at the nature of this offense – the harm that was inflicted upon this young child – I am certain that this child will have to confront the occurrence either now or in the future – there is, in fact, significant harm that has occurred,” Watkins said.

The victim’s mother gave a statement during the sentencing. She said she doesn’t understand how Carroll couldn’t recognize that what he did to her daughter was wrong.

“I still have compassion for him,” she said between tears. “He was my best friend for years. He saved my life and I trusted him with my own life including my daughter’s. I would have done anything for him until that day he betrayed us.”

She said she was assaulted when she was nine by a man similar in age to Carroll and explained the man never answered for what he did to her. She said that has affected her throughout her entire life.

“As much as I do care about this man to my left, I don’t want to see him go unpunished,” she said.