Court documents detail rape charges against Blackfoot firefighter
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BLACKFOOT — A Blackfoot firefighter accused of raping a teenager in 2008 admitted to engaging in sexual activity with the girl, according to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.
Stephen W. Stuart, 40, has been charged with two felony counts of rape. According to an affidavit of probable cause, the victim came to police in the spring of 2018 and said as a 16 to 17-year-old teenager, she had a sexual relationship with Stuart. He was then 29-years-old and not an employee of the Blackfoot Fire Department.
Under Idaho law, a 16 or 17-year-old cannot legally consent to sex with an adult three or more years older.
The victim says the two had sexual intercourse multiple times over a period of 18 months in Bingham County, Oregon and Washington. They were apparently known to each other through Stuart’s employment, which was redacted in court documents to protect the victim’s identity.
When detectives spoke with Stuart, he admitted to having an ongoing relationship with the girl and said the two had sexual intercourse in Washington and Oregon but not in Idaho, according to the affidavit.
Bingham County Prosecutor Paul Rogers told EastIdahoNews.com that when his office initially received the case in 2018 they sent it back to investigators to gather more information. Prosecutors received the case again a few weeks ago.
Rogers also said due to the defendant being an employee with the City of Blackfoot and potential conflict of interest in the case they are asking another county to take the case as a special prosecutor.
Stuart was issued a summons Thursday and will make an initial appearance at the Bingham County Courthouse on May 21.
The city of Blackfoot announced Tuesday that Stuart was placed on paid administrative leave following the charges being filed, according to a news release.
If convicted, each felony count of rape holds up to life in prison and or a $50,000 fine.