Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hailey man charged with attempted strangulation

Suspect also faces statutory rape allegation

Express Staff Writer

Santos Jose Quinones

A 23-year-old Hailey man was arrested Monday afternoon for allegedly attempting to strangle his 17-year-old girlfriend.

Santos Jose Quinones was formally charged Tuesday in Blaine County Magistrate Court with felony "attempted strangulation." He was also charged with felony "rape of a female under the age of 18," a crime often referred to as statutory rape, for allegedly having an ongoing sexual relationship with the girl.

The charges stem from an alleged altercation Sunday at the suspect's home on First Avenue in east Hailey. The girl reported the alleged altercation to Hailey police on Monday morning.

Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter said Tuesday that police found evidence that the girl had been battered and subsequent investigation led to the statutory rape allegation. Gunter said there was no indication of forcible rape.

The police chief said Quinones had apparently been dating the girl for about three years.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on April 15. Public defender Douglas Werth was appointed to represent Quinones and bond was set at $15,000. Quinones remained incarcerated Tuesday afternoon in the Blaine County Jail.

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