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Man gets withheld judgement after having sex with teen

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A local man was given a withheld judgment after having sexual relations with a then 15-year-old girl.

Kalin Christensen, 21, was ordered to spend 30 days in jail with work release, complete 100 hours of community service and spend 10 years on probation as the terms of the withheld judgment. If Christensen abides by those terms, it is possible the charge will be removed from his record. If he doesn’t, he will again appear before the court, where he will be sentenced.

Christensen pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child in May as part of a plea agreement that reduced his charge of rape where the victim is 16 years old or younger and the perpetrator is three or more years older. That agreement also stipulated the prosecution would argue for Christensen to be placed on a rider and be given five years probation after successfully completing the rider program.

“I will follow the recommendation for a withheld judgment because I think you can earn that through the course of what’s expected of you, or you will lose the withheld judgment (and) you will come back before the court and I will send you to prison,” District Judge Dane Watkins said.

During the sentencing hearing, Kristopher Meek, Christensen’s defense attorney, gave Watkins a stack of 22 letters of support for Christensen from former Scout leaders, members of his LDS ward and friends and family regarding Christensen’s character.

Meek argued the presentencing investigation report said Christensen had a higher possibility of reoffending if he were sent on a rider than if he were simply given probation.

Meek also made the point during court that the victim divulged at one point that she had multiple sexual partners, some of whom were 18 years old.

Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey said that fact should have no bearing on the court’s ultimate decision. He argued Christensen was responsible for the situation. He chose to be alone with the victim, he chose to deviate from their original plan of getting ice cream, and in the end he is an adult and she is a child.

According to court documents, the victim said Christensen forced her to have sex with him. Christensen, however, said the victim was sexually aggressive towards him, and he was never forceful with her.

During the presentencing investigation, Christensen underwent a polygraph test. Dewey and Meek agreed Christensen gave a clean polygraph with no signs of deception. Meek argued that fact lent credence to Christensen’s version of what happened.

“I just kind of want to move on with my life,” Christensen said in his statements. “This kind of put a damper on my life so far. I just want to apologize for my mistake. I know it was a mistake, and I put myself in a bad situation.”

Watkins ordered Christensen to undergo sex offender treatment; however, Christensen will not be required to register as a sex offender because the charge of injury to a child is not a sex crime.