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Man who tried to fool paternity test with dog saliva goes to prison for having sex with teen

Crime Watch

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Levi Baker

IDAHO FALLS — A judge denied a request from a man who impregnated a 16-year-old to be given a rider.

Levi Baker, 30, was sentenced to 15 years in prison with five years fixed and 10 years indeterminate for felony sexual battery by lewd or lascivious acts on a minor. Baker had been in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old that resulted in her becoming pregnant.

After the victim’s child was born, Baker tried to fool the paternity test by smoking and rubbing dog saliva in his mouth.

“I know it don’t really mean much but, in all honesty, I am sorry about what I’ve done. I am ashamed about what I’ve done,” Baker said during the sentencing hearing.

District Judge Bruce Pickett referenced to a section of the psychosexual evaluation that Baker took before sentencing that said Baker didn’t think he’d done anything wrong because the sex was consensual.

“The laws are put in place to protect females younger than 18 from sexual contact with somebody of your age,” Pickett said.

Baker’s public defender, Tyler Salvesen, argued that Baker’s post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the military, low self-esteem and low body image contributed to his actions.

RELATED: Man accused of impregnating teen allegedly used dog saliva to fool paternity test

“(The psychosexual evaluator) derives that it did make him a little more susceptible to the advances made by the victim,” Salvesen said.

Salvesen requested a four-year fixed sentence and for a retained jurisdiction, otherwise known as a rider — a year-long program focused on rehabilitation where the judge can decide if the offender should be placed on probation or sent back to prison at the end of the program.

Pickett chose to heed the Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey’s recommendation of five years fixed with 10 years indeterminate.

“That recommendation is consistent with the victim’s wishes, consistent with the impact of the crime and the defendant’s own risk to re-offend,” Dewey said.

Baker was fined $2,045 and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

The victim gave birth in August 2017 and was kicked out of her home the following December, documents state. She told investigators that she asked Baker if she could stay with him and his girlfriend because she didn’t have a place to live.

He agreed, and all three shared the same bed.

According to documents, text messages between Baker and the victim appear to show a sexual relationship between the two. They told each other they loved each other several times. They had sexually explicit conversations and talked about the child being his. Investigators say they found nude images of the victim on Baker’s phone.

The messages seem to indicate they talked about what they would tell detectives. Baker told the girl to tell detectives she had sex with him while he was asleep. He said he wouldn’t press charges, so it wouldn’t matter. He also told her he “smoked and rubbed dog saliva in my mouth” to beat the DNA test.

Baker’s girlfriend knew about the sexual activity between Baker and the teenager, according to court records. When asked about it, Baker told detectives that his religion allows him to have multiple women. During the sentencing hearing, Baker’s attorney said Baker is an “esoteric pagan.”

Baker was arrested in November 2018 after a paternity test was performed, and Baker was confirmed to be the father of the victim’s baby.

“I know I’ve done wrong, and I’m here for whatever retribution Your Honor has decided,” Baker said.

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