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Man charged with sex crime after incident involving 12-year-old girl

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A 24-year-old Rexburg man accused of having sex with a 12-year-old girl was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Bonneville County.

Stetson Perry is charged with one count of lewd conduct with a child under 16. He allegedly abused the girl while on a camping trip at Palisades Reservoir in August. Prior to the incident, the victim told detectives Perry had kissed her in June.

The victim became known to Perry because he was dating her family member. This summer Perry invited them to his family reunion, according to a probable cause statement obtained by The victim went because other girls her age were in attendance. The victim’s family member had plans to attend the reunion, but on the night in question had to work. The victim’s family member, however, went the following day. The family was under the impression that the victim would be sleeping in the same quarters as other girls her age.

Instead, the victim stayed the night in Perry’s camper. She told investigators that she and Perry retired to different beds. A short time later, Perry allegedly went over to where the victim was sleeping, took off her clothes and engaged in sexual acts and intercourse with her.

The victim’s mother suspect there was something going on between her daughter and Perry. She said he was overly complimentary to her and thought it was odd he would show up to her performances. She told detectives she tried to think nothing of it. She said one day she saw overheard her daughter on the house phone speaking with a male. She discovered it was Perry and noted in their conversation he stated he asked about any “competition he might have” and later stated he would “love to hear from her beautiful ass.” Perry had pet names for the victim like “darling,” “angel eyes,” and “beautiful babe.”

Prior to Perry’s interrogation with police, the family member he was in a relationship with confronted him about things happening between him and the victim. The family member recorded the conversation, and he admitted to only texting the victim. She confronted him about messages where he offered the victim “snuggles,” but denied it and said he was referring to his dog. The family member called law enforcement during the confrontation and said the Perry was being suicidal.

In September detectives confronted Perry at his Madison County home and took him in for questioning. He told detectives about his communication with the victim and was confronted about the camping event. He admitted to communicating with her but told them nothing happened while camping. He eventually admitted to detectives of messaging the victim 10 to 15 times a day. Detectives discovered hundreds of messages were exchanged between Perry and the victim. Detectives retrieved 35 pages of Snapchat messages between Perry and the victim. They’d been in contact before and after the incident through phone conversations, text messages and Snapchat.

He allegedly asked the victim to send photos over herself in her underwear, which she did. The victim told detectives he sent one back in only his boxers. During interrogation by detectives, Perry denied anything sexual ever happening between himself and the girl.

“Stetson was very calm about this accusation,” an officer interviewing Stetson wrote in a police report. “I asked him why he was so calm and not agitated. Stetson said that nothing ever happened … and told me that he is a little pissed off at the whole thing.”

Perry was charged and booked into the Bonneville County Jail on a $30,000 bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Nov. 20.

Editor’s note: This story contained errors in the details of some of the events when it was first published. It has since been corrected.