Sandpoint man arrested on sex charges

by KEITH KINNAIRD
News editor | November 21, 2020 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A Sandpoint man has been arrested on allegations that he raped and sexually abused a 12-year-old boy in 2011.

Bronson Daniel Driggs is being held at the Bonner County Jail with bail set at $50,000. He is charged with one count of rape and two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor, according to a criminal complaint in the case.

Driggs, 28, made an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on Tuesday via videoconferencing with the jail. Judge Tera Harden entered an order barring Driggs from contacting the alleged victim and appointed a public defender to represent him, court records show.

The alleged victim, who is now 21, reported the abuse to Bonner County Sheriff's investigators in July, after being plagued by flashbacks and nightmares about the abuse he suffered, a probable cause affidavit said. Driggs was between the ages of 18-19 when the alleged abuse occurred.

The alleged victim told investigators he disclosed the abuse several times to counselors, but the disclosures did not trigger a law enforcement investigation, the affidavit said.

The alleged victim said he disclosed the abuse to another adult, but the disclosure was met with disbelief.

The alleged victim said he resolved to renew his disclosures to prevent Driggs from victimizing other children, the affidavit said. Driggs threatened harm if he disclosed the abuse, according to the affidavit.

The alleged victim told investigators Driggs groomed him for the abuse by showing him pornographic videos at a Sandpoint home and escalated to rape in Laclede, court documents indicate.

Court records indicate the alleged victim disclosed the abuse to the Idaho Department of Welfare in 2012. He also disclosed the abuse to a counselor after he relocated out of state.

However, a sheriff's investigator could find no record of the disclosures being passed along to law enforcement, according to court documents.

The adult whom the alleged victim reported the abuse to denied that a disclosure of the abuse was made to him, the affidavit said. He called both the alleged victim and Driggs "liars."

Driggs denied having any sexual contact with the alleged victim or showing him pornography when he was questioned by sheriff's investigators, according to court documents. Driggs said the alleged victim wanted a sexual relationship with him, but he rejected the advances.

Driggs was invited to undergo a polygraph examination, but Driggs declined, saying he does not trust polygraph tests.

A preliminary hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to justify trying Driggs on the felony charges is set for Nov. 25.

Rape and lewd conduct are punishable by lifelong prison terms if the state obtains convictions.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com or followed on Twitter @KeithDailyBee