Couple accused of sexually abusing and exploiting a 4-year-old
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com Published at 2:47 pm, March 18, 2018
Elizabeth Dawn Evans and Joseph Harris
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains graphic and disturbing details regarding an alleged sexual assault. Reader discretion is advised.
RIGBY — A Rigby couple has been arrested after allegedly sexually abusing a child and using a cell phone to take pornographic photos of the abuse.
Elizabeth Dawn Evans, 27, and Joseph Harris, 30, are accused of sex crimes that took place in Jefferson County with a 4-year-old girl. Court documents show the incidents occurred between January and February.
Jefferson County detectives, with the assistance of a Bonneville County detective, obtained a warrant to search a home on Broadway in Idaho Falls on March 6. Deputies confiscated three mobile devices from the residence where they found a disturbing image of the child engaging in a sex act with Harris. The image of child pornography, which was found among other pornographic images of the two adults, was taken by Evans.
Detectives also discovered Evans had sent a nude photo of herself and Harris along with a text message to an older female relative inviting her to join the couple and the child for sex.
Both Evans and Harris admitted to being high during the incident.
During interviews with detectives, Evans said she refused the proposition from Harris after coming down from their high, according to court documents. Detectives also showed Evans a list created by Harris, which indicated he wanted to have sex with the child.
When detectives showed Harris the lewd photo of he and the child, he said he did not remember ever doing such a thing with the child. Court documents show he then later told police he recognized a tattoo on his private area, and said he was getting high at the time and has no recollection of doing that to the victim.
Harris also told the detective he wanted to “be with” the 4-year-old child once she was old enough.
Evans and Harris were booked into the Jefferson County Jail on March 8.
Evans has been charged with aiding or abetting lewd conduct, and sexual exploitation of a child. Harris is charged with one count of lewd conduct with a minor under sixteen, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a child.
Bond was set at $250,000 for Harris and $150,000 for Evans. The couple will appear in court on March 22 for a preliminary hearing.
Suspected sex trafficker arrested with nine others accused of sex crimes
EastIdahoNews.com Staff Published at 8:37 pm, March 19, 2018 | Updated at 8:40 pm, March 19, 2018
BOISE — An effort between federal, state and local agencies has led to the arrest of 10 people accused of various sex crimes including sex trafficking of a minor.
The joint operation was conducted Friday, March 16, through early Monday, March 19. All 10 suspects were booked into the Ada County Jail
Of the 10 people arrested, five are facing state charges. The other five are facing federal charges. According to a news release from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, two have been charged with enticement of a child through the use of the internet, two were charged with attempted lewd conduct with a minor and one was charged with both enticement of a child and attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.
Of those facing federal charges, one is accused of sex trafficking of a minor and the other four are charged with enticement of a minor.
“I want to commend the participating agencies for their teamwork and expertise in organizing and executing this operation,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said in the news release. “Collaborations like this are an important tool in our ongoing work to protect children from online predators.”
The operation was organized and supervised by the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho. it was part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is extremely pleased with the results of the joint operations,” U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis said in the news release. “Project Safe Childhood has been a Department of Justice priority since 2006. Working with our local PSC partners we protect children by investigating and prosecuting online sexual offenses involving minors, which is what occurred this past weekend.”
The state and local agencies that participated in the operation were the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Ada County Emergency Management, Idaho State Police, Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, Boise Police Department, Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office, Garden City Police Department and the Nampa Police Department.
Judge calls pornography a “cancer on society” during sentencing
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com Published at 7:47 pm, June 13, 2018 | Updated at 7:51 pm, June 13, 2018
Mathew Mobley | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
IDAHO FALLS — A man who was found with over 100 images and videos of child pornography was sentenced on Wednesday.
Mathew Mobley, 44, will serve 10 years in prison with two and a half years fixed and seven and a half indeterminate. Mobley is still facing one misdemeanor charge of second-degree stalking and one misdemeanor charge of using a telephone to harass or threaten someone.
Mobley was originally charged with five counts of felony sexual exploitation of a child by possessing exploitative materials. As part of a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to counts one and two and counts three through five were dismissed.
This is Mobley’s sixth felony conviction. He is also facing felony drug charges in Bingham County.
“The most concerning, actually, to me is that this is going to be a blemish on my family name forever,” Mobley said in his statements on Wednesday. “I am as much of a drug addict as needing help with sex-offender treatment.”
District Judge Jon Shindurling said studies have shown that pornography triggers the same sections of the brain that heroin does. “Pornography is a cancer on society,” Shindurling said talking about pornography in general. “You cannot be a regular viewer of pornography without it causing a significant disturbance in your life.”
He said he understood why Mobley turned to pornography because of his addiction, depression and loneliness.
“But it’s not the answer,” Shindurling said. “The other problem is that once you get into that, there’s not a clear line between pornography of adult figures and children. It’s easy to drift that way and then you are in deep water.”
Mobley was taken into custody on Sept. 9. When told he was arrested for possession of child pornography, he claimed he had never downloaded anything onto his computer. He told police he had traded something for the computer and that the previous owner must have put the images on it but he refused to divulge the person’s name.
As for the second-degree stalking and telephone harassment charges, Mobley is accused of sending threatening text messages to his ex-girlfriend.
“I see you. Haha, Look around can you see me? No, of course not, I’m right here. You should probably call the cops. I sure they could help…Nothing you can do either. No one can, you have done it and it’s my turn now. Rot in hell you piece of s—. Game over…,” the messages read.
Mobley reportedly told police he had other people watching his ex-girlfriend so he would know where she was at all times.
He is scheduled to appear in court regarding the stalking charge on Aug. 1 for a pretrial conference.
Convicted rapist sentenced for possessing child pornography
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com Published at 2:17 pm, June 13, 2018
John Steven Castillo | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
IDAHO FALLS — A local man has been sentenced after his parole officer found child pornography on a hidden cell phone.
John Steven Castillo, 33, was sentenced to the maximum 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography. He was given four years fixed with six years indeterminate and a $1,000 fine.
“I searched this (presentencing investigation) from top to bottom and I couldn’t find one reference where you acknowledged that your behavior has anything to do with causing damage to those children who were used in the creation of that pornography,” District Judge Jon Shindurling said during sentencing.
Castillo pleaded guilty to two of the five counts of felony sexual exploitation of a child through possessing sexually exploitative material on April 17 as part of a plea agreement. Per the plea agreement, counts three through five were dropped and the prosecution and defense agreed to recommend no more than four years fixed.
Castillo was on felony parole for a 2005 rape conviction for which he was sentenced to 10 years in prison with three years fixed and seven indeterminate. He completed a one-year rider program for that conviction.
He was arrested Dec. 2, 2017, when his parole officer found a cell phone Castillo had been trying to hide.
The officer took the phone and found what he believed to be child pornography. An investigator from the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Unit searched the phone thoroughly and found 2,200 sexually explicit images including 1,500 of which depicted prepubescent children.
The images were stored in a password protected applications such as Vaulty, an app specifically designed to hide pictures and Mega, a password protected cloud storage app, according to court documents.
Man allegedly brags about sex with minor, gets arrested
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com Published at 2:58 pm, May 25, 2018 | Updated at 3:03 pm, May 25, 2018
Corwin Raymond Cole | Bonneville County Jail
IDAHO FALLS — A 32-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly having sex and taking pornographic pictures of a 16-year-old girl.
Corwin Raymond Cole has been charged with sexual battery of a child and sexual exploitation of a child. He was arrested May 17 after he allegedly showed nude photos of a young girl and bragged to acquaintances about his “16-year-old girlfriend.”
“LOL I seriously have to be careful who I open pictures around now because I’ve got so many pictures of you on there and having illegal pictures of my 16 year old girlfriends is thrilling and scary at the same time sometimes LMAO,” Cole allegedly said in a message to the victim.
According to court documents, when he first showed the images to people in a veterans group he is a part of, Cole said the girl in the photos was 18. He later confided in a person who drove him home that the girl was actually 16. Cole asked him not to tell anyone because he didn’t want to get in trouble.
The person who drove Cole home told another man about it and he, in turn, reported the situation to police.
Officers questioned Cole if he had been having contact with a 16-year-old girl, he told them that he had. Cole said he and the victim had talked about having a relationship, but couldn’t because it was illegal.
According to documents one of the witnesses questioned by officers said Cole told him the girl was 16 “but it is okay that she’s 16 because it’s legal in Kansas.”
Kansas is where the victim is reportedly currently living. Cole told officers that she had moved there from Idaho around a month prior.
Officers seized Cole’s smartphone and reportedly found numerous photos of a naked girl. They also found photos of Cole and a girl having sex.
According to documents, when questioned about the photos Cole said they were of the victim. He said the girl he was having sex with was also the victim. He said there was at least one topless photo of another 16-year-old girl who lives in California.
Cole told officers the photos of he and the victim having sex were taken in Idaho Falls prior to her moving to Kansas. He also said they had been having sex frequently since February and that her parents did not know about it.
Cole is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on June 1.
Teton County man arrested on charge of sexual exploitation of child
EastIdahoNews.com Staff Published at 11:46 am, September 27, 2018
Andrew T. Molick
The following is a news release from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office on Thursday.
BOISE – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has announced investigators with his Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit charged a Victor man Wednesday, Sept. 26, with alleged sexual exploitation of a child.
Thirty-eight-year-old Andrew T. Molick was taken to the Madison County Jail following his arrest.
The Teton County Sheriff’s Office, the Teton County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations assisted the ICAC Unit.
Anyone with information regarding the exploitation of children is encouraged to contact local police, the Attorney General’s ICAC Unit at (208) 334-4527, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678.
The Attorney General’s ICAC Unit works with the Idaho ICAC Task Force, a coalition of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, to investigate and prosecute individuals who use the internet to criminally exploit children.
Man sentenced to prison for possessing porn involving infant, toddlers, children
EastIdahoNews.com staff Published at 5:08 pm, September 18, 2018
The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.
BOISE — Kristopher Douglas McKay, 36, of Boise, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to 108 months in prison followed by five years supervised release, for possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Bart M. Davis announced. McKay pleaded guilty on May 2, 2018.
According to court records, in March 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identified McKay as the user of a Yahoo e-mail account that had accessed a cloud storage account containing images of child pornography.
Agents obtained a search warrant for the account and discovered evidence that McKay traded images of child pornography via e-mail with other individuals, including images depicting infant and toddler-age children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and images depicting sadistic and masochistic conduct. The e-mail account contained approximately 3,472 still images and 271 videos depicting child pornography.
In September 2017, FBI agents served a search warrant at McKay’s residence in Boise. They seized and searched McKay’s laptop computer, where they discovered approximately 2,941 images and 1,113 videos depicting child pornography. McKay admitted to agents that he used his laptop computer to access his e-mail account and traded images of child pornography with other individuals. As part of the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge David C. Nye also ordered McKay to forfeit his laptop computer.
This case was investigated by the FBI, and was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
Man who thought he was messaging 15-year-old for sex gets probation
Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com Published at 11:53 am, August 22, 2018 | Updated at 5:00 pm, September 5, 2018
Russell Tolbert | Bannock County Jail
CHUBBUCK — A man who intended to have sex with a 15-year-old girl he met on social media was sentenced to probation Monday.
Russell Tolbert, 37, began to message someone he thought was an underage girl on Facebook in October 2017. In reality, Tolbert was communicating with an undercover Chubbuck police officer, according to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com
Tolbert, using the alias Russ Russ, first asked the supposed 15-year-old, “Can I be ur sugar daddy,” followed up with “Dam u r sexy.”
Over the next several months, Tolbert conversed with supposed underaged girl on Facebook. He wanted to meet up to take her to dinner and shopping.
Throughout the interaction, Tolbert sent images of himself along with sexually explicit text messages and descriptions of his sexual fantasies.
On Jan. 22 Tolbert sent a message over Facebook asking to meet up. He said he wanted her to perform oral sex. Latter that night Tolbert drove from his home in Rigby to Chubbuck, where officers apprehended him.
Tolbert denied any involvement in sending messages over Facebook and said his account was hacked. He claimed he was in Chubbuck to install security cameras at a church.
Eventually during questioning Tolbert admitted to messaging the girl on Facebook but felt the girl was older than she told him she was.
Tolbert told police he felt guilty for leaving his pregnant wife and four kids at home while he intended to have relations with another female.
He was arrested for felony enticement of a minor under 16. However, as a part of a plea agreement, charges were reduced to felony injury of a child.
Bannock County deputy prosecutor Zachary G. Parris told EastIdahoNews.com because Tolbert felt guilt for what he had done “in good faith,” it made him a good candidate for someone who could be rehabilitated. Despite their reasoning for reducing the charges, the prosecuting attorney’s office still recommended Tolbert be given a rider, rather than probation. That recommendation was rejected though.
In the sentencing Tolbert mentioned he began receiving treatment for his pornography and sexual addictions from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 12-step program after the plea bargain was finalized. Prosecutors say District Judge Rick Carnaroli most likely considered this in giving him a 10-year sentence of probation.
Tolbert will not be required to register as a sex offender because he was ultimately charged with a nonsexual crime.
Idaho Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Sex Trafficking of a Minor
EastIdahoNews.com staff Published at 10:32 am, January 27, 2017
The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.
BOISE — Michael Wayne Wade, 31, of Boise was sentenced Thursday in United States District Court to 240 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release for sex trafficking of a minor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Wade pleaded guilty on Aug. 16, 2016.
According to the plea agreement, agents with the Idaho Department of Probation and Parole arrested Wade for a felony probation violation in July of 2014. A Nokia Lumina cell phone was seized from Wade and examined by a detective with the Boise Police Department. The cell phone contained texts with a minor and images of the minor, including one that was sexually explicit.
The detective conducted open-source internet searches on Backpage.com and discovered that the images of the minor on Wade’s phone had been posted in an ad for “escort services” in Boise in July and November of 2014. The postings were made using a Backpage.com account for another individual, J.K.
J.K. was arrested by the Boise Police Department in December of 2014, and admitted she worked as a prostitute in Boise, and that Wade was the “boss” who “pimped her.” She admitted Wade asked her to use the minor for a two-girl “date,” which she refused. She admitted posting the minor as an escort on Backpage.com, using the images sent to her by Wade.
She further admitted that Wade spoke to her about taking the minor “under her wing,” assisting her in “escorting,” and ensuring that she was “working.” J.K. admitted that she took the minor on at least two “dates” where the minor engaged in commercial sex acts, and that she received money from the minor in exchange for posting the ad and transporting her.
The minor was interviewed and admitted that she participated in a prostitution enterprise with J.K. She stated she sent the images of herself to Wade for the purpose of being posted on Backpage.com as an escort. The minor stated that J.K. posted her images on Backpage.com, and drove her on at least two “calls” where she engaged in a commercial sex act when she was sixteen years old.
“This defendant callously victimized a minor,” said Olson. “This sentence demonstrates that such conduct will be punished severely, and that the law protects our children from those who seek to exploit and profit from them. This office and its law enforcement partners in Idaho are unwavering in our commitment to seek justice on behalf of vulnerable victims and to hold sex traffickers accountable.”
Further investigation by the Boise Police Department and the FBI revealed recorded phone calls and text messages from Wade to J.K. and the minor. The text messages revealed that Wade knew the minor was sixteen years old, that he told her she would be a “star by the time I’m done with you,” encouraged her to “hustle all day,” and told her that J.K. would teach her “the tricks of the trade” and “how to hustle.”
Wade also told the minor that she had “mad potential,” could “turn tricks,” and that J.K. would “buy you a room” and “have you get to work this weekend.” Wade then told J.K. that the minor was “all open” and “down to work for the team.”
The case was investigated by the Boise Police Department, the FBI, and the Idaho Department of Probation and Parole, and was prosecuted with assistance from the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.
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