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Man placed on rider after sexually abusing teen on church property

Idaho Falls

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BLACKFOOT — A man is going into a rider program after sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl outside a Blackfoot church building.

Greggory Mark Collard, 20, was placed on the rider Tuesday after pleading guilty to felony statutory rape. District Judge Darren Simpson gave him an underlying sentence of seven to 22 years in prison that could be served if Collard is not successful on the rider program.

As part of a binding plea agreement made with Bingham County prosecutors, two felony counts of lewd conduct with a minor were dropped and a third was amended to the statutory rape charge. The plea agreement stipulated if a psychosexual evaluation showed him a low risk to re-offend, the judge would sentence him to probation, but anything more serious, he would be placed on a rider.

A rider program is when a 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 can then decide to send them back to prison or release them on probation.

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Prior to the sentencing, friends and family for Collard offered letters of support for the man. They talk about his struggles of being adopted from Russia, his learning disabilities, mental health issues and substance abuse challenges.

Investigators were contacted in July after the teenage girl’s mother found text messages between Collard and her indicating a sexual relationship. The victim then disclosed she had intercourse multiple times with Collard, who was 19-years-old at the time, at a Latter-day Saint church building underneath an outdoor pavilion.

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“Greg advised that he did have sexual intercourse with (the victim) one time at the LDS Church’s property,” a deputy writes in the probable cause. “Greg stated he didn’t know how old she was and he was very intoxicated on alcohol and high on marijuana.”

When speaking with an investigator, Collard reportedly said when he found out the victim’s age, he stopped communicating with her.

In addition to the time on the rider, court records show Collard was ordered to pay $5,411.66 in fees and fines.