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85-year-old man sentenced after admitting to molesting boys over decades

Crime Watch

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Charles H. Googe | Caribou County Jail

PARIS — A St. George, Utah man was placed on a rider program after he admitted to molesting boys for years.

Charles Harbin Googe, 85, appeared in court on Aug. 20, where District Judge Rick Carnaroli sentenced him two to 10 years in prison. Carnaroli opted to retain jurisdiction in the case. That means the judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs. When the inmate has completed the program, the judge decides to send them back to prison or release them on probation.

Googe pleaded guilty to felony lewd conduct. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a second felony count of lewd conduct involving another victim.

In June 2019, the Unified Police Department in Utah began investigating Googe. Multiple generations of family members contacted investigators after learning Googe had molested them over several years when they were children, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.

When speaking with detectives, at least three victims told investigators similar stories of how Googe would have them lay in bed with him while he molested them. All three recounted Googe began abusing when they turned seven and it lasted for several years.

One of the victims told police Googe had abused him over three decades ago in Georgia and felt the statute of limitations would prevent prosecution, according to a Unified Police report obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.

During their investigation, police in Utah learned that Googe had a summer home in Paris, Idaho. Two of the victims said they were abused in multiple places, including this Idaho home. One recalled the abuse began in 1996 and continued until 2003, while another said the abuse started in 2003 and did not stop until 2012.

With this information, police contacted the Bear Lake County Sheriff’s Office for help. Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office showed up to Googe’s home in Paris, where he agreed to talk.

During the interview, Googe confessed to molesting one of the boys multiple times, including at his home and while driving in his car in Bear Lake County. When asked about other victims, he would respond that he did not remember, the probable cause reads.

After detectives finished talking to Googe, they arrested him and took him to the Caribou County Jail, where Bear Lake County inmates are held.

Googe reached the plea agreement with prosecutors on Jan. 16. The agreement said prosecutors would recommend a maximum of two to five years in prison.

At sentencing, the presentence investigation showed Googe passed a polygraph and there were no other victims. Court records indicate that at sentencing, Googe did admit to fondling both of the victims listed in the Idaho charges.

While on the rider program, Carnaroli ordered Googe to participate in sex offender treatment. He pointed out while Googe is a low risk to re-offend, he is at high risk with young boys, according to court minutes. Carnaroli also said Googe must pay $2,803.50 in fees and fines.

Once released from the rider program, Googe will have to register as a sex offender.

The charges in Idaho are not the only one’s Googe is facing. Sentencing documents indicate charges were filed in Utah where bail is set at $500,000.

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