Pocatello man arrested out of state and charged with a child sex crime - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Pocatello man arrested out of state and charged with a child sex crime

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POCATELLO — A man accused of lewd conduct with a minor in Bannock County was arrested in Colorado and returned to Idaho.

Robert Michael Wilson, 21, has been charged with felony lewd conduct with a minor under 16, court documents show.

Pocatello police received a referral regarding a possible sex crime involving a child from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on June 9, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Officers were told that a 15-year-old girl had reported ongoing sexual contact with Wilson.

Police reports note that officers had investigated a similar crime involving Wilson and the same victim in 2021. During that investigation, the victim had denied a sexual relationship between her and Wilson, the report says. The victim assured officers she would be willing to tell the truth this time.

A forensic interview was conducted by a child advocacy center.

During the interview, the victim said she had been in a relationship with Wilson between August 2021 and May 2022. She said that the relationship ended when she realized she was being manipulated and physically and emotionally abused.

The victim told the interviewer that Wilson would regularly ask for sex, and she would refuse, according to the affidavit. However, she said he would touch her sexually while she slept.

Eventually, she said, she succumbed to his requests — adding that she did so after he cried and said that no one loved him. She said that he was 20 and she was 15 at the time.

The victim said she and Wilson continued their relationship and that Wilson grew more aggressive and physically abusive with time.

She said she finally spoke with someone about what had occurred because she “did not want another girl to go through what she went through.” She said she lied during the initial investigation one year prior because she did not want Wilson to get in trouble.

Officers obtained a search warrant for SnapChat records and found “thousands” of message exchanges between Wilson and an underage person — reports are unclear if these messages were exchanged with the same victim.

While the investigating officer was attempting to get in touch with Wilson, another officer provided evidence discovered while conducting a separate investigation which “pointed to a sexual relationship” between Wilson and an underage girl. Reports are unclear if this evidence involved the same victim.

Wilson was arrested in Mesa County, Colorado, on a warrant issued in Bannock County. He is currently being held at Bannock County Jail.

Though Wilson has been charged with this crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

If he is found guilty, Wilson could face up to life in prison.

He is scheduled to appear in court for preliminary hearing before magistrate judge Aaron Thompson on Nov. 30.