Man facing allegations of sex abuse of young children
ST. ANTHONY — A Fremont County man is facing allegations of sexually abusing multiple children.
Arthur Wayne Barker, 61, is charged with felony lewd conduct with a child under 16. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, law enforcement investigated several allegations of sexual abuse of children known to him.
The Department of Health and Welfare first contacted Fremont County deputies in March after reports of alleged sexual abuse surfaced.
A victim told officials the abuse happened sometime between 2002 and 2006 but was never reported because “(relatives) would persuade the victims that it never happened and that Arthur was a good man who would never do that,” the probable cause reads.
Investigators spoke with at least five potential victims, according to court document. Three of those the investigators spoke with disclosed allegations of inappropriate behavior by Barker. One woman recalled Barker sexually abusing them in the 1980s, according to court documents.
The victim who brought the allegations to light described incidents of molestation and sexual abuse by Barker in graphic detail. Court records also detail allegations of abuse with one victim who has since died.
Based on the interviews, deputies asked Fremont County prosecutors to charge Barker with lewd conduct. Barker is facing the single count for the victim who brought the allegations to light.
Barker was arrested on June 3, according to court records. He then posted $25,000 bail. While out on bail, Barker is not allowed to have any contact with females under the age of 16. He appeared in court for his preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
Although Barker is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
If convicted of felony lewd conduct, a judge could order Barker to spend up to life in prison. However, such lengthy sentences are rarely given.