Local man charged after allegedly forcing his hand down the pants of a 13-year-old girl - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Local man charged after allegedly forcing his hand down the pants of a 13-year-old girl

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POCATELLO — A man police say sexually touched a 13-year-old girl after a failed attempt at forcing her to touch him faces multiple felonies.

Jason Tyrone Hughes, 45, has been charged with one count apiece of lewd conduct with a minor and soliciting sexual abuse of a child, court records show.

Pocatello police received a report of the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old on April 25, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Officers spoke with the victim and her mother.

The victim said Hughes, whom the family knew, came to her home while her mother was not there to drop something off. She and her brother went outside to meet him and Hughes asked her brother to get him a phone charger. Once her brother returned to the house, Hughes, the victim said, asked her to join him in his vehicle.

Inside the vehicle, the victim said, Hughes exposed his penis and tried to force her hand onto it. When she refused, the victim said, Hughes forced his hands down her pants.

After the interview, officers scheduled a forensic interview between the victim and a therapist at a child advocacy center. During the second interview, the victim repeated the same story she provided during the first, the affidavit says.

The victim described the inside of Hughes’ vehicle. And, according to the affidavit, the description matched the inside of the vehicle.

She also described to the therapist how she tried “locking up her muscles” to resist but was unsuccessful. She said she was scared to say anything about the incident, which occurred in late February or early March, until Hughes was arrested and incarcerated on other charges.

Court records show that Hughes was arrested in April on felony drug possession charges.

The victim’s mother told officers that after learning of the assault, she went to Bannock County Jail to confront Hughes using the visitor system.

According to the affidavit, she accused Hughes of sexually abusing her daughter. Hughes apologized, then asked, “Am I getting charged for this?” before pleading, “Please don’t.”

She told Hughes that she didn’t think he would do something like this, to which he allegedly responded, “I didn’t either.”

Police reports describe Hughes’ demeanor during the conversation, which was recorded by the visitor system, as “somber,” until he mentions that the visit was being recorded — when he “briefly denies the allegation.”

Officers spoke with Hughes at the jail. They asked him about the incident, to which he responded, he “will never beat this.” He then refused to answer any more questions.

Hughes is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.

Though Hughes 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, Hughes would face up to life in prison.

He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing before Magistrate Judge David Penrod Tuesday.