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Pocatello man alleged to have raped multiple teenage girls for years

Crime Watch

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Trenton Powell | Bannock County Jail

POCATELLO — A Pocatello man preyed on several young teen girls for years and wanted to marry at least one of them, court documents allege.

In April, a woman spoke with the Pocatello Police Department and said that now-41-year-old Trenton Powell had engaged in a sexual relationship with her. The victim said the alleged sex abuse began years ago when she was 13 years old and stopped when she turned 18. A months-long investigation by both local and federal investigators into Powell followed.

The following information comes from a redacted affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com after requests from multiple news outlets to unseal the case filed against Powell. Court documents are filled with explicit details shared by five victims of what Powell allegedly did with them.

In a police report, investigators write how the first victim described how Powell engaged in a sexual relationship with her for several months. She said the relationship continued for about three years.

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For about a year, the victim did not visit with Powell because of restrictions by her probation officer. However, when the victim turned 17, she says that Powell offered to allow her to move in with him at his other home in the Salt Lake City area. The probation officer allowed her to move in with Powell, and the victim says the illegal relationship continued for the next year.

She moved out when she turned 18.

She described seeing a “made-up” marriage certificate between Powell and another teenager inside a closet that contained several sex toys. This victim also told police she feared there might be additional victims.

The other girls

During the investigation, detectives found other victims. Due to the number of victims and the fact that their names are redacted, it is difficult to differentiate between them in court documents.

One victim said she was 11 or 12 years old the first time Powell sexually assaulted her, and he continued to do so until she was 17 years old. Powell is alleged to have said he wanted to marry her when she turned 18 and had her sign a fake marriage license.

At least one of the victims claimed when she was a teen, Powell raped her after getting her drunk. Another victim also described a group sex situation with Powell and other victims.

As police kept investigating this summer, one of the victims engaged in a text conversation with Powell to get him to admit to sexual relations with underage girls. This victim pointed out that Powell is currently dating a woman 20 years younger than him but is an adult.

“What I am doing is not dangerous, it’s legal,” a text from Powell included in court documents reads. “That other s*** is in the past and your bringing it back to light is the dangerous part! I never did anything to hurt anyone … the punishment needs to fit the crime!”

During the investigation, Powell allegedly texted one victim, saying she had been manipulated and controlled by others who lie and cheat “in an effort to destroy” his life. Powell also retained attorneys during the investigation and offered the attorneys to her to help her “undo” or take back things she had said.

Several victims mentioned to investigators how Powell would record the alleged rapes on his phone. It is not clear if detectives have recovered the videos.

Another suspect

The police department’s investigation has also led investigations to a transgender man who allegedly had sexual relations with some of the victims and Powell during group sex settings. These alleged encounters happened at parties with drugs and alcohol in Powell’s Pocatello home.

The second suspect has not been charged and thus is not being named by EastIdahoNews.com.

Charges and bail

Powell has declined to talk to investigators through his attorneys, according to court documents.

He is charged with five felony counts of rape of a minor where the victim is 16 or 17 and two felony counts of lewd conduct with a minor. The alleged rapes happened between 2012 and 2014, and the lewd conduct charges stem from incidents in 2007 and 2010.

Preliminary court records only had five felony charges, the additional charges appeared on Idaho’s online court portal Friday afternoon.

The initial bail for Powell was set at $300,000 when he was arrested. At his first court appearance on Thursday, Magistrate Judge Todd Garbett changed Powell’s bail to $50,000. Powell posted bail and was released from the Bannock County Jail.

EastIdahoNews.com reached out to Powell’s attorney Patrick Davis who was not immediately available for comment. This story will be updated if we receive a comment.

Although Powell is charged with crimes it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, each of the charges holds up to life prison sentences.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 17 in Bannock County.

Bannock County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Nick Tranmer said that as with any sexual assault case there could be additional alleged victims. Anyone with information or who would like to come forward can contact the Pocatello Police Department at (208)-234-6100.

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