Man arrested after allegedly molesting children in backyard shed - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Man arrested after allegedly molesting children in backyard shed

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IDAHO FALLS – A 68-year-old man was arrested after two children reported he molested them in a shed for several years.

Guy Matthew Howcroft was charged with two counts of felony lewd conduct with a child under 16.

On April 16, a Bonneville County Sheriff’s deputy was asked to follow up on a report given to Idaho Falls Police.

According to police reports, an IFPD detective had already begun an investigation, but the case was moved to the sheriff’s office because the incident’s location had previously been under Bonneville County’s jurisdiction when the alleged crimes occurred. The area has since been annexed into Idaho Falls.

The IFPD officer writes in his report that in March 2021, a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old told their parents they had been being sexually abused by Howcroft for “several years.”

A forensic interview was scheduled for the children in 2021 but was not completed as they were “too uncomfortable to talk about the incident.”

The officer contacted the family again on March 28, 2024, and asked if they had discussed the incident since it was disclosed in 2021. The family said yes, and a second forensic interview was scheduled.

During the interview on April 4, both children said they were molested by Howcroft multiple times between June 2017 and August 2019. Court documents don’t explain how Howcroft knew the children.

According to the children, Howcroft once took them to a store, bought them “pink see-through skirts,” and told them to wear nothing underneath them.

He then allegedly told the children to ask their parents if they could spend the night with him in a “shed that was located on the property and outfitted with a bed.” The children said Howcroft would sexually assault them in the shed.

According to one of the children, they would try to refuse to do sexual things with him.

The other child told interviewers that they remembered “running out of the shed at night and banging on the door to their home, which was locked and they had to be let in by a family member.”

A resident at the home told police Howcroft was “always interested in children” and was “frequently asking if they could spend the night with him.”

The resident also told police Howcroft had a shed on the property and spent “a large amount of time in the shed and had the children in the shed with him at times as well as his bedroom.”

Court documents say Howcroft is a registered sex offender following two convictions out of Utah for sexual abuse of a child, one in 1984 and one in 1996.

On April 16, the deputy requested a warrant for Howcroft. He was arrested on May 8 and booked into the Bonneville County Jail on a bond of $40,000.

He is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing on May 24. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

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