Friday, April 25, 2008

Foster child involved in 2nd criminal sex case

Carey student prosecuted for relationship with 13-year-old girl

Express Staff Writer

Brian Jake Adamson

A 13-year-old girl, previously in foster care with a Carey family, was the alleged victim in two recent criminal sex cases in Blaine County 5th District Court.

Two Carey men allegedly had sexual intercourse with the girl and were charged with rape, even though evidence suggests the sex was consensual.

Cases of consensual sex involving minors are often referred to as "statutory rape," even though Idaho law has no provision for the situation and considers it as rape whether consensual or not.

The girl, along with another 15-year-old foster child, was living in Carey in the home of Craig and Betty Adamson at the time the alleged sexual encounters occurred. Blaine County court records state that both girls were removed from the home in early 2008.

Twenty-year-old Brian Jake Adamson, the son of Craig and Betty Adamson, was charged with rape last week for an alleged sexual encounter with the girl on or about Oct. 19 of last year.

Blaine County Sheriff's Office Detective Steve Harkins alleged in a "probable cause affidavit" filed with the court that both Brian Adamson and the girl were intoxicated at the time and that the sexual encounter occurred in the home of Craig and Betty Adamson.

Brian Adamson is currently free on $5,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 30.

The other case involving the girl was filed on Dec. 18, 2007, against Jordan James Surerus, an 18-year-old Carey High School senior, for allegedly having sex with the girl on or about Oct. 30 last year. Surerus, originally charged with felony rape, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery on Feb. 5 and was sentenced to 29 days in jail.

Investigators with the Blaine County Sheriff's Office consider the case against Adamson the more serious of the two because Adamson is older than Surerus, because the girl was in foster care in the Adamson home and because Surerus was involved in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with the girl.

Ketchum attorney Dan Dolan, who served as public defender for Surerus, declined to comment on why the felony charge was reduced to a misdemeanor but said the case was "resolved in an appropriate way."

"There were no allegations that it was against her will," Dolan said. "The only allegation was that she was under the age of 18. There were a lot of mitigating factors in this case and that's why we resolved it the way we did."

Court records provide some insight into the resolution of the case. According to minutes from the sentencing hearing, Dolan told the court that his client was the girl's boyfriend, that Surerus thought the girl was 16, and that his client cooperated fully with investigators.

Court records also state that Surerus has no prior criminal record.

Surerus, a senior on the Carey Panthers varsity basketball team, was allowed to start his jail term at the end of the basketball season.

He spent 11 days during spring break in the Blaine County Jail and is now spending his weekends there until satisfaction of his 29-day sentence.

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