Idaho Falls man admits to molesting young girls
Editor’s note: This story contains details of a graphic nature. Reader discretion is advised.
IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man is facing felony sex abuse charges after he admitted to police to molesting two young girls over several years.
Evan Mercado, 19, was arraigned on Monday on two charges of lewd conduct with a child under 16.
The victims’ mother initially reported the abuse to authorities. She said her daughters had repeatedly been sexually assaulted by Mercado several years ago, while the victims were around 12 and 10, according to court documents.
The mother told police one of her daughters had begun exhibiting signs that she may have been abused by someone, which caused her to investigate further.
During police interviews with the victims, the girls said Mercado had touched repeatedly touched and penetrated the girls’ genitals and forced them to reciprocate sex acts on him. The girls said the acts were never consensual, and Mercado would pester the girls until they gave in and performed the sex acts.
The victims said on several occasions, Mercado used toys or gaming consoles to manipulate the girls to perform sex acts. They said he would also take nude photos of them.
All of the encounters as reported by the victims occurred while Mercado was also a juvenile. The one exception had allegedly occurred six months before interviews with police. Mercado is said to have repeatedly asked the victim if he could touch her sexually; however, nothing happened because another adult interrupted the interaction.
Detectives worked with the victims’ mother to confront Mercado about the alleged abuse. While detectives were listening to a conversation between the mother and Mercado from another room, he admitted to taking nude photos of the girls and forcing them to perform sex acts. He told the mother he had not raped the girls.
During the confrontation, Mercado said he knew what he had done was wrong but still did it, and he didn’t know why.
Following the confrontation, police revealed themselves and interviewed Mercado. He consented to his electronic devices being searched, but officers found no child pornography.
During interviews with police, Mercado admitted to some of the abuse and denied other parts of it. He said that he had gotten good at “blocking things out” and that “things were done with both of them.” Mercado said the abuse stopped after one of the victims threatened to tell an adult.
Mercado was arrested April 4, and his bond was set at $50,000. He’s scheduled to appear in court again April 19.