Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Agreement pending in child sex case

2 new sex-crime cases surface in District Court

Express Staff Writer

A plea agreement is being discussed for a 26-year-old Hailey man charged with three felonies for alleged multiple sex crimes last summer against a 7-year-old girl, but as of Monday the case is still scheduled for jury trial starting Dec. 14.

"We're very close to a resolution, but we're not there this morning," Hailey attorney Keith Roark told Judge Robert J. Elgee in Blaine County 5th District Court.

Roark was appointed public defender for Robert C. Cochachi-Macha, a Peruvian native with legal residency in the United States who is charged with rape, lewd conduct with a child under 16 and sexual abuse of a child under 16.

Cochachi-Macha was arrested by Hailey police following the alleged crimes on July 16. He has remained incarcerated since on $100,000 bond in the Blaine County jail.

He was indicted by a Blaine County grand jury on the charges on July 29.

Meanwhile, two other sex-crime cases surfaced in District Court on Monday following grand jury indictments on Nov. 16.

Vicente Manturano-Soto

Vicente Manturano-Soto, a 30-year-old Hailey man, was arraigned Monday on four counts of rape for allegedly having an ongoing sexual relationship with an underage girl in Ketchum.

According to court records, the girl was 15 when the relationship started in May and turned 16 in June. Manturano-Soto is accused of having sexual intercourse with the girl once in May and three times in June.

A probable-cause affidavit filed by Ketchum police Detective Christopher Burks states that an investigation was started after the girl and her mother told Wood River High School Resource Officer Raul Ornelas about the relationship in September. Burks wrote that evidence in the case was gathered from a recorded telephone conversation between the girl and Manturano-Soto when the girl called Manturano-Soto to "talk about their relationship."

Manturano-Soto was arrested on Nov. 8

Manturano-Soto, who is represented by Hailey attorney Douglas Nelson, pleaded not guilty at arraignment to all four charges. A jury trial was scheduled for March 15. He remains incarcerated in the Blaine County jail on $30,000 bond.

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has filed an "immigration detainer" against Manturano-Soto accusing him of being in the United States illegally.

Leo R. Schofield Sr.

Leo R. Schofield Sr., a 68-year-old Bellevue man, was arraigned on a felony charge of lewd conduct with a child under 16 for an alleged sexual assault on a young girl.

The grand jury indictment alleges that the crime occurred sometime between 2006 and 2009. A probable-cause affidavit filed by Blaine County Sheriff's Detective Mark Dalton states that the girl was in the fourth or fifth grade at the time. According to court records, she is now 13.

All references to the girl's relationship with Schofield have been removed from Blaine County court records available to the public. However, Dalton alleges in the affidavit that the sexual assault occurred while the girl was staying at Schofield's home on Fourth Street in Bellevue.

Dalton wrote that the alleged crime was brought to the attention of authorities when the girl and her mother reported it to the Sheriff's Office on Sept. 13. Dalton reported that the girl tried not to think about what allegedly happened for a few years but eventually reported it because she realized she was "traumatized."

According to the affidavit, an Idaho Children at Risk Evaluation Services interviewer talked to the girl to verify her story.

Schofield was arrested on Nov. 3 and has remained incarcerated since in the Blaine County jail. His bond is set at $150,000.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge at Monday's arraignment and a jury trial was scheduled for March 15. Hailey attorney Douglas Werth has been appointed public defender.

Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Thomas told the Idaho Mountain Express that Schofield was served with an arrest warrant from Massachusetts on Nov. 17 charging him in that state with two felony counts of "indecent assault and battery on a person 14 years or older." The crimes allegedly occurred in 1990.

Thomas said Schofield has a 1987 felony conviction in Rhode Island for two counts of "lewd conduct with a minor."

Terry Smith:

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