Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sex offender enters not-guilty plea

Indian Creek resident charged with failing to register

Express Staff Writer

A longtime Wood River Valley resident pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he failed to register as a sex offender for a crime committed more than two decades ago in California.

Indian Creek resident Randall Scott Atkins, 42, entered the plea during an arraignment in Hailey before 5th District Court Judge Robert Elgee.

Atkins now faces a two-day jury trial beginning Nov. 23.

The case stems from Atkins' recent arrest by the Blaine County Sheriff's Office in June for allegedly failing to register for as a sex offender for a crime he committed when he was 19. According to the Idaho State Police sex-offender registry—which he is now listed on—Atkins was convicted in 1987 in Monterey County, Calif., of "lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14."

Failure to register as a sex offender is punishable in Idaho by up to 10 years in prison.

A probable-cause affidavit filed by sheriff's Deputy Corey Weatherly alleges that Atkins last registered as a sex offender in California in 1996 and has been in violation of registration requirements ever since. Court records state that Atkins has lived in Blaine County for at least 13 years.

Weatherly wrote in the affidavit that the California registry requirement was discovered when he ran a background check on Atkins in connection with an unrelated crime investigation. Atkins was a possible witness in that case and was not a suspect.

Jason Kauffman:

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