Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hailey man faces lewd conduct charge

Accused of sexual conduct with 4-year-old girl

Express Staff Writer

A Hailey man has been charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor for his alleged sexual involvement with a 4-year-old girl.

Twenty-four-year-old Ovidio Ricaldi-Villajuan was arraigned on the felony charge Monday afternoon in 5th District Magistrate Court in Hailey.

Hailey Police Chief Brian McNary said the charge against Ricaldi-Villajuan stems from an alleged incident early Saturday morning at a residence on Winterhaven Drive in southeastern Hailey.

At about 6 a.m. that morning the Blaine County Sheriff's Office received a 911 emergency call. According to the call log, the woman reported that she found a man with her 4-year-old daughter and that the child's pants had been removed.

Hailey police rushed to the home and arrested Ricaldi-Villajuan.

McNary said the alleged incident occurred at the end of a party when the mother of the child was escorting party guests from her home.

"When she came inside, she heard her daughter crying, and then she heard her crying louder, and she went into a bedroom and confronted a man that was in the bedroom with her daughter," McNary said.

He said Ricaldi-Villajuan was taken to the Hailey police station for questioning and then transported to the Blaine County Jail.

In court Monday, Ricaldi-Villajuan was informed of his rights and the charge against him. Speaking through a court interpreter, Ricaldi-Villajuan indicated he understood.

He protested briefly that the $50,000 bond suggested by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Warren Christiansen was too high for him to pay.

"I don't have that money. I will probably remain in jail until I'm tried," Ricaldi-Villajuan said through the court interpreter.

But Magistrate Court Judge R. Ted Israel was not swayed.

"Given the nature of the charge against you, the bond amount the state recommended seems reasonable," Israel told the defendant.

Israel also issued a no-contact order prohibiting Ricaldi-Villajuan from seeing or talking to the family of the alleged victim, or being in contact with anyone under the age of 18.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 3 p.m. on Nov. 21. Israel appointed a public defender to represent Ricaldi-Villajuan.

Following the hearing, the defendant was led away to the Blaine County Jail, where he was still incarcerated Tuesday.

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