Idaho man charged in lewd conduct case
(Photo courtesy BILL OXFORD)
Staff Writer | March 13, 2022 1:00 AM
SANDPOINT — An Idaho man has been bound over to First District Court to face a lewd conduct charge.
Jeffrey Ray Williams, 52, is also facing a felony enhancement charge for an event that allegedly took place in 2013. However, prosecutors said Wednesday that an amended charge could be soon entered into the court system.
County prosecutors called the victim and her mother to testify, during which new information was disclosed regarding the abuse allegations.
In the victim’s December 2020 forensic interview, she said that Williams allegedly assaulted her in Sandpoint when she was 8 or 9 years old.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, the victim disclosed the abuse days after it happened to another adult, who confronted Williams about the allegations. Williams denied the allegations, and the alleged abuse went unreported to law enforcement.
Years later in 2020, the victim disclosed the abuse to a mandatory reporter, who informed law enforcement of the allegations.
Magistrate Judge Justin Julian ruled there was enough probable cause for Williams to be bound over for trial. Williams is scheduled for arraignment on March 21.
Williams has 13 other cases in the Idaho court database for battery, unlawfully possessing a weapon, and driving a vehicle without the owner’s permission. His most recent cases feature 14 charges for violating no contact orders — for which he is currently serving up to 5 years at the Idaho Department of Corrections.
Although the victim disclosed the alleged abuse at first, the adults involved did not report the abuse to law enforcement. A counselor reported the alleged abuse when the victim talked about it years later. There is no statute of limitations when it comes to reporting sexual abuse against minors.
There are local resources available to those who wish to pursue justice. LillyBrooke Family Justice Center can be reached 24/7 at 208-265-3586. They provide victims with advocacy and connections to other professionals who can aid in the healing process.
According to FindLaw.com, an online subsidiary of Reuters, mandatory reporters include school counselors, teachers, law enforcement, dentists, nurses, and many others who are trained in handling these types of circumstances. A full list of mandatory reporters can be found in the article on their website.
Everyone is encouraged to report abuse, even if it’s just suspected abuse. Those who come forward to report abuse, provided that they were not a participant, will be shielded from liability in the legal process.