Idaho Falls man charged with sexual battery of a minor

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Johnnie Junior Huddleston | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — A local man was arraigned for sexual battery this week after admitting to police he’d had sex with a 17-year-old girl.

Johnnie Junior Huddleston, 23, was arrested Aug. 3, and charged with sexual battery on a minor. The victim claims he forced himself onto her. Huddleston says he’s done a lot of illegal things, but rape isn’t one of them.

According to court documents, the victim told investigators she had been driving around with a male friend and Huddleston in the friend’s pickup truck. She said they stopped at an apartment complex because the friend had to take care of something. That was when Huddleston allegedly joined the victim in the back seat of the truck.

She said Huddleston flirted with her and kept trying to touch her. He then allegedly asked her how old she was and she told him she was 17. He responded that he was 25 and had a child in third grade. After the friend returned they continued to drive around and Huddleston kept giving her beer and she kept drinking it until it was dark and the friend dropped them off at Huddleston’s apartment, according to court documents.

The victim says when she arrived at Huddleston’s apartment she fell asleep on his bed. When she woke up Huddleston was allegedly touching her breast under her bra. In her statement to police the victim said that’s when he started kissing her.

“You need to stop, I’m way too young,” the victim allegedly told him.

Court documents say Huddleston ignored her, then allegedly forced her pants off and proceeded to rape her, despite attempts to fight him off. The victim said he tried holding her down on top of him but she was able to get off and kick him away. She said she kept telling him to stop and that he was too old.

The victim said after the incident she tried calling a friend to come get her, but the friend was unable to. She said Huddleston called her a cab and they sat outside his apartment and smoked marijuana as they waited for the cab to arrive.

Huddleston’s version of the events changed a number of times during interviews with police. When confronted with the allegations, Huddleston claimed he didn’t remember the victim, even after being shown her picture. He told investigators he’s a “pretty boy” who has “been with a lot of girls.”

When questioned how it was possible she could describe his apartment yet he claimed he didn’t know her, Huddleston said “she might have been brought over on a really drunk Friday night.”

After several interviews and having “time to think” Huddleston told investigators he did remember her, but that he didn’t rape her. He also said he thought she was 19.

Huddleston said while he was in the backseat of the truck, Huddleston and the victim had had sex and she initiated it. The friend who had been driving later told police he had observed them having sex in the truck, and that there was no sign she was under duress.

Huddleston also admitted to having sex with the victim at his apartment, but again said it had been consensual.

A warrant was issued and Huddleston was arrested and booked into the Bonneville County Jail on one felony count of sexual battery of a minor. This charge is used when a suspect is five years older than a victim who is 16 or 17 years old. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.

He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 17.