Friday, July 6, 2007

Suspect claims he didn?t rape former girlfriend

Pothier denies having sex with alleged victim

Express Staff Writer

A Hailey man, who has been charged with kidnapping and raping his former girlfriend, has claimed that he did not have sex with the woman on the day of the alleged incident.

Statements attributed to the suspect, 29-year-old Christopher D. Pothier, are included in a probable cause affidavit filed in the case by Hailey police officer Raul Ornelas.

"Pothier denied ever having sexual contact with (the alleged victim) in his car, or at his house," Ornelas wrote in the affidavit. "Pothier told me he 'did not force (the alleged victim) to do anything against her will.'"

Pothier was charged last week in Blaine County Fifth District Court with felony rape and first-degree kidnapping for allegedly abducting his former girlfriend, a 26-year-old Hailey woman, holding her against her will for several hours, and raping her at his home on Winter Fox Lane in south Hailey.

The criminal complaint against Pothier alleges that he abducted "the victim by use of threat or bodily harm" and "forcefully raped the victim" while threatening her with a knife.

The woman was examined at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center following the alleged incident. A sexual assault examination was conducted, but results from the tests are not yet available to the public.

The alleged incident occurred the afternoon of Friday, June 22. Pothier was arrested later that evening.

Prior to the arrest, Hailey police obtained a search warrant for Pothier's home and car.

Pothier was taken to the Hailey Police Department, where he was questioned before being booked into the Blaine County Jail.

Pothier is currently free on $100,000 bond. A no-contact order has been issued that bars him from contacting or being within 300 feet of the alleged victim. Pothier is represented by Hailey attorney Douglas Nelson.

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