Wednesday, May 30, 2007

4th teen charged with sex crime against girl

Alleged assault linked to cell phone images of unclad victim

Express Staff Writer

Uriah Zamir Crain

An 18-year-old Hailey man is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl after he was shown cell phone video recordings of the girl taking off her clothes, dancing and performing sexual acts.

The cell phone images were allegedly recorded by three other Hailey teenagers, who have also been charged with felony sex crimes against the girl.

Uriah Zamir Crain was charged in a May 18 Blaine County grand jury indictment with lewd conduct with a minor child under 16 for allegedly following the girl on May 1 into a women's restroom at a Hailey shopping center, pulling up the girl's shirt, removing her pants and underwear and touching various parts of her body.

A Blaine County Sheriff's Office affidavit alleges that Crain told the girl "he would tell people that he had seen the nude video" if she refused to perform a "striptease for him" as she allegedly had done for one of his friends.

The cell phone video images were allegedly recorded on the evening of April 30 at the apartment of 19-year-old Joshua Charon Jones on Shenandoah Drive in southern Hailey.

Jones and the other two men who allegedly recorded the images, John Paul Silvia and Skylar K. Vollmer, both 18, have all been charged in a separate May 18 grand jury indictment with "possession of sexually exploitative material for other than commercial purposes."

The indictment also charges Jones and Silvia with sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16.

Vollmer, who turned 18 on May 3, is also charged with a sex crime as a juvenile because he was only 17 when the images were allegedly recorded. An indictment against him on a juvenile charge was not available for public review, but Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas said on May 14 that Vollmer faces a charge of lewd conduct with a minor child under 16 for allegedly touching the unclad girl.

In Idaho, lewd conduct criminal charges typically define the crime as a "lewd and lascivious act upon the body of a minor child under the age of 16 years, by having manual to genital contact (with the child) with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying (the defendant's) own lust, passions or sexual desires or those of the minor child."

The charge can also be applied to various other sexual situations. In court and police circles the crime is often referred to as "L and L." It is punishable in Idaho by up to life in prison.

Jones, Silvia and Vollmer were arrested on May 9 following an investigation by the sheriff's office and the Hailey Police Department. Crain was arrested the following day.

Blaine County court records state that Crain has family in Blaine County and has lived in Hailey for two months. Before that, records state, he lived in Las Vegas, Nev.

A sworn affidavit filed with the court by sheriff's detective Steve Harkins describes the events that led to Crain's arrest.

Harkins stated that Crain allegedly assaulted the girl after being shown the video images allegedly recorded the previous evening. Harkins reported that the girl told him that Crain followed her into the public restroom and removed part of her clothing after threatening to tell about the video images.

The girl told Harkins that Crain touched her private parts even after she asked him to stop, Harkins said. The affidavit further alleges that Crain persisted with the assault until someone knocked on the restroom door.

The girl "explained that this startled Crain and she was able to leave the bathroom," Harkins stated.

Crain remained incarcerated Tuesday in the Blaine County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Jones and Vollmer also remained in custody, Jones on a $75,000 bond and Vollmer on a $100,000 bond.

Silvia was released from jail after posting bond of $25,000.

No-contact orders have been issued to all four of the defendants, ordering them to stay away from the alleged victim.

Court records further state that the FBI is investigating to determine if federal child pornography laws were violated.

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