Man charged with felony sexual abuse involving children
Published at | Updated at
BLACKFOOT — A Blackfoot man has been charged with two felonies for alleged sexual conduct involving two girls, aged 10 and 13.
Joshua Jerry Brown, 37, is charged with sexual abuse of a child and lewd conduct with a minor, according to court documents.
Blackfoot police received a referral from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare regarding the alleged sexual battery on April 6, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Along with representatives of the IDHW, officers spoke with a 10-year-old girl at her home.
The girl said in an interview that Brown “playfully” threw her to the ground. Then he held her down and placed his hands on her “private parts,” she said. In a later interview, the girl also said Brown grabbed her hand and placed it on his genitals multiple times.
Officers spoke with Brown, who denied the incident.
A 13-year-old girl was interviewed on April 18 about another instance of alleged abuse. The girl told the interviewer that Brown served her and at least one other child she knew from school alcohol while on a camping trip.
Brown visited her in her tent, she said and asked her to come outside so they could speak.
After chatting briefly, she said Brown kissed her multiple times. Then, she said, he put his hands on her genitals while grabbing her hand and placing it on his. She then described him allegedly attempting to force a sex act, but she refused so he stopped.
Brown told her that they needed to go to sleep, but if she wanted to continue in the morning she could text him.
Officers spoke with Brown about this incident, the affidavit says. Brown allegedly said he “let his guard down” after going to a string of suicides at work. He said he “needed to blow off some steam” and drank too much. He also told the officer that he had “no idea” whether the incident occurred the way it was described by the victim.
EastIdahoNews.com received a tip from a person close to the situation stating Brown is a member of the Blackfoot Fire Department. EastIdahoNews.com attempted to confirm information with the department but was redirected to the city of Blackfoot. Greg Austin, the city’s Human Resource Director, said that the city had no comment in an email to EastIdahoNews.com.
“We do not comment on personnel,” the email says.
Although Brown has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If he is found guilty of both felonies, Brown could face life in prison and as much as $100,000 in fines.
He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance before Magistrate Judge James Barrett, Jr. on June 9.