Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Sheriff determines Hailey girls not abducted

Express Staff Writer

A Blaine County Sheriff's Office investigation has determined that two Hailey girls were not abducted last month by two Hispanic men, contrary to some news reports that implied otherwise.

The two men, both Hispanics but born in the U.S., still face multiple felony charges for allegedly having sex with the two non-Latino girls, a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old.

Charged last week with six felonies each in Blaine County Magistrate Court were Jose L. "Yoshie" Vivar Olivera, 22, and Emmanuel "Manny" Bautista Aguayo, 21, both of Hailey.

The men are accused of enticing the girls into their vehicle the evening of July 26, giving them alcohol, possibly laced with a drug, driving them to a remote location up Slaughterhouse Canyon and having sex with them.

Olivera and Aguayo have been charged with two counts of felonious administration of a drug, two counts of sexual abuse of a child under 16 and two counts of battery with intent to commit a serious felony.

In a written statement released Monday, Sheriff Walt Fleming said, "We have learned that the abduction of these two juvenile girls did not occur. We are pursuing the charges of statutory rape against Jose Vivar Olivera and Emmanuel Bautista Aguayo."

Femling said Blaine County took over the investigation from the Hailey Police Department because the alleged crimes occurred outside the Hailey city limits. However a Hailey police detective is still involved.

"Our first and foremost concern in this crime is for the victims," Femling said. "Secondly, that our citizens know that two juvenile females were not abducted off our streets, and that they can feel safe in our community."

Femling further said: "We also have a concern with the way this crime was reported, which has created tension with our Latino community. We ask that everyone allow the justice system to work in this difficult case."

Olivera and Aguayo remain incarcerated in the Blaine County Jail on $250,000 bond each. Preliminary hearings for the two, earlier set for today, have been postponed.

Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas is convening a grand jury this week to consider the case.

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