Monday, September 25, 2023

Pilch case dismissed right before trial

Staff Writer | July 28, 2023 1:00 AM

A case in which a Bonner County man was accused of sexual battery of a minor and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor under the age of 16 was dropped right before it was supposed to go to trial.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall, the deputy investigating the case against Joshua Pilch, a former Bonner County planning commissioner, advised prosecutors that “more investigation is needed in order to pursue the case.”

All bonds Pilch paid were exonerated and any outstanding warrants against him were “squashed,” Marshall said.

Marshall did not say how or when his office plans to move forward with the case.

Joshua Pilch, 45, was arrested in January 2023 on the charges after allegedly telling the youths that he needed to check them for rashes. He allegedly had them bend over so he could examine them, telling them he was using his cell phone for a light, according to court records.

Pilch also allegedly used the back of his hand to touch the genital area of one of the children as well as asking inappropriate questions of both.

Pilch resigned in mid-January from the Bonner County Planning Commission, shortly after his arrest. He pled not guilty to these charges in March.

The case was set to go to trial July 17 but a motion to dismiss without prejudice was approved June 27.

“This motion is made on the basis that the state declines to prosecute this matter further in the interest of justice,” the motion to dismiss stated.

One of the alleged victims in the case also made statements alleging the original probable cause affidavit incorrectly stated things she told officials, according to court records.

“I have concerns the probable cause affidavit does not fully reflect the facts and circumstances surrounding the case,” she said in a written statement.

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