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Man convicted of lewd conduct with a child now facing more charges

Crime Watch

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BLACKFOOT — A local man who has already served time for lewd conduct with a child under 16 is now accused of a similar crime.

Michael R. Schwindt, 34, appeared in court on May 16, where a preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 27.

According to court documents, around November or December 2016, Schwindt committed a lewd act on a child under the age of 16. Schwindt was convicted and served time at the Idaho Department of Correction and was scheduled to be released in January 2020.

In May of 2019, a woman contacted the Bingham County Sheriff’s office after learning that her child had also been sexually assaulted by Schwindt before he was convicted in 2016. Schwindt was still behind bars at the time of the new allegations.

A report was filed with the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office and a new case was opened.

The victim, a minor, alleged that the abuse occurred at a gas station in Bonneville County while Schwindt was with the victim in his work truck between August and September in 2014. The victim also said the abuse happened in Utah over a period of eight months in 2015.

During an interview with Bingham County Sheriff’s deputies, the victim stated Schwindt removed her pants and took nude photos of her but then deleted them from his phone.

The investigation was forwarded to the Bonneville County Sheriff’s office and the Salt Lake City Police Department due to the crimes allegedly in Bonneville County and Salt Lake City.

During a forensic interview with the Bright Tomorrow’s Child Advocacy Center, the victim alleged that Schwindt had often “rubbed her privates,” told her to touch his private parts “as a game” and that she felt uncomfortable with this. The victim stated, “I would tell him to stop, but he wouldn’t. I did not tell my mom. I was afraid he would hurt me.”

A Bingham County Sheriff’s deputy met with Schwindt while he was in custody at the Idaho Department of Correction to interview him about the new allegations of lewd conduct. When asked if he knew why the detective was there, Schwindt replied that he “had a pretty good idea” and that he “had done something he probably shouldn’t have done” in reference to the victim.

Schwindt told the deputy that he had no recollection of any abuse happening at the gas station in his work truck, but the Utah allegations were “most likely correct and accurate”.

If convicted, Schwindt could serve a life time sentence and have to pay a $50,000 compensatory fine and restitution.