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Oregon man acquitted in lewd conduct case

Staff Writer | April 15, 2022 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — An Oregon man was acquitted by a Bonner County jury Tuesday of three lewd conduct charges stemming from 2020.

This is not the first time Preston Lee Carter, 21, was acquitted by a Bonner County jury.

Carter also is wanted on 14 sex offense charges out of Harney County, Oregon. It is unknown what became of the charges.

Carter was arrested in Sandpoint on Aug. 12, 2020, on the Oregon warrant; subsequent charges out of Bonner County were filed days after his arrest.

The two Bonner County cases involve unique victims. The cumulative eight charges were alleged to have taken place in a private residence on Spruce Street in Sandpoint between April and June 2020. In one instance, Carter was alleged to have assaulted both victims the same evening.

Carter was arrested without incident at the residence. When advised of the $150,000 bail associated with the Oregon warrant, Carter expressed a measure of disbelief.

“He stated that he thought all of that was finished,” said Sgt. Aaron Flynn quoting Carter in an arrest report.

A Harney County grand jury indicted Carter on 14 felony and misdemeanor sex charges. They include multiple counts of sexual abuse in the first, second and third degrees, rape in the second and third degrees, sexual misconduct and contributing to the sexual delinquency of minors, according to court documents.

The arrest warrant was issued on July 16, just under a month before Carter was arrested in Sandpoint.

Prosecutors in Harney County advised local prosecutors they are willing to extradite Carter back to Oregon to face the charges.

According to court documents, Carter told those he was residing with that he was being falsely accused of sexual misconduct in Oregon and claims to have passed at polygraph test with Oregon officials.

First District Judge Barbara Buchanan presided over both Bonner County cases. Throughout the court process, four of the eight charges were either dropped, dismissed, or amended in subsequent charging documents.

Carter was first found not guilty by a jury on July 14, 2021 for three counts of lewd conduct after 50 minutes of deliberation. On Tuesday, he was found not guilty on a count of lewd conduct after hour and twenty-five minutes deliberation.

These cases make up the entirety of Carter’s criminal history in Idaho. It is unclear if Carter has additional cases in other states.

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