Man charged after allegedly molesting girl at hunting camp

Crime Watch

IDAHO FALLS – A Blackfoot man was charged with a sex crime involving a child after the victim reported being abused at a hunting camp.

James Lee Parkin, 36, is charged with felony lewd conduct with a child under 16.

On Nov. 10, an Idaho Falls Police officer spoke to a detective with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office about a case reported to IFPD concerning a minor who had been sexually abused.

The victim said she was 15 years old at the time and identified Parkin as the abuser. She said he touched her inappropriately while they were at an elk hunting camp in Bonneville County.

The abuse reportedly occurred in Oct. 2021 while they were staying in a camping trailer. The victim told investigators she was also abused on several occasions in Butte County and Lincoln County, Wyoming.

On Nov. 12, the victim went to the Sheriff’s Office with a family member to make a recorded phone call to Parkin about the abuse. The victim confronted him about what happened at the hunting camp, and Parkin reportedly did not deny the abuse.

According to the police report, Parkin apologized to the victim and said he didn’t know why he did it.

“I have made a bunch of f****** mistakes in my life that I’m not proud of,” he reportedly said. “I don’t want to get in trouble.”

A detective identified himself on the call and asked if Parkin would be willing to speak as part of the investigation. At that point, Parkin declined and told the detective to talk to his attorney.

A warrant was issued and Parkin was arrested on Jan. 18. Parkin posted $25,000 bail and was released.

A no-contact order was issued for the victim and Parkin is expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 24 in front of Magistrate Judge Wiley Dennert.

Though Parkin has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

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