Sexual misconduct reported at Juvenile Corrections in St. Anthony
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ST. ANTHONY — A 20-year-old male resident of the Juvenile Correction Center in St. Anthony has been removed from contact with a teenage boy after the older resident reported to facility staff the two were involved in sexual misconduct.
Sharon Harrigfeld, director of the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections, said staff immediately moved the 20-year-old after he disclosed the sexual misconduct on December 12, 2017. Both residents were evaluated for possible injuries and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office was notified. The younger resident was 15 at the time and since has turned 16.
An investigation found that the two residents’ misconduct was limited to inappropriate touching. While both residents willingly participated, the misconduct violated institutional rules and may have been illegal. However, since the 20-year-old is an
adult, he could face charges related to sexually assaulting a child. The Fremont County Prosecutor’s Office will decide whether to file charges.
The 20-year-old was 18 when he was committed to the Idaho Department Juvenile Corrections. He was placed in a sex offender treatment group upon his commitment, as was the younger resident. The 20-year-old was promptly assigned to a different sex offender treatment group within the facility when the December incident was reported, and staff has taken measures to ensure he has no contact with the younger resident.
Juvenile Corrections officials are confident he does not pose a threat to other residents.
Idaho’s Juvenile Corrections Act allows young offenders to remain in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Corrections until they turn 19, and until they turn 21 if approved by the Custody Review Board. That four-member panel evaluates cases based on the principles of community protection, accountability, and competency development. In the case of the 20-year-old, Juvenile Corrections found no legal basis for transferring the 20-year-old resident to a county jail or adult prison unless he is charged with a new felony crime.
“The Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections believes it is in the best interest of the 20-year-old and the best interests of the people of Idaho that he continues to receive treatment at Juvenile Corrections Center in St. Anthony pending a decision on possible charges,” Harrigfeld said. “It’s important to note that this unfortunate incident occurred despite our facility and procedures fully complying with federal Prison Rape Elimination Act requirements designed to prevent such misconduct.”