Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Students charged with sex crimes

Senior boys allegedly forced sex on freshman girl


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Christian Ivan Zuniga-Alvarez

Three male Wood River High School seniors have been arrested on felony charges for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old freshman girl.

All three suspects were taken into custody Friday at the high school. Two are 17 and still have juvenile status, while the third is 18 and was identified by police and court records as Christian Ivan Zuniga-Alvarez.

Hailey police Lt. Steve England said Monday that the two 17-year-olds were arrested on charges of lewd conduct with a minor child for allegedly having sexual intercourse with the girl. Zuniga-Alvarez was charged with sexual abuse of a child under 16 for other alleged sex acts against the girl.

In Idaho, lewd conduct with a minor child is punishable by up to life in prison, while sexual abuse of a child under 16 is punishable by up to 25 years behind bars.

Zuniga-Alvarez made an initial court appearance Monday in Blaine County Magistrate Court. According to minutes from the hearing, he has lived with his parents in Blaine County for five years. He is accused in an immigration detainer filed by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency of being in the United States illegally.

He remained incarcerated Tuesday in the Blaine County jail on $20,000 bond.

Court records identify all three suspects as seniors and state that the alleged victim is a freshman.

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England said an investigation was started Thursday, Oct. 27, after Hailey police were notified by school officials about the allegations.

"What happened is the victim reported it to some friends, they reported it to school officials and they reported it to us," England said.

The sex crimes were allegedly committed on the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 25, at O'Donnell Park in Bellevue in a white 2002 Dodge Neon belonging to one of the suspects.

England wrote in a probable-cause affidavit that the girl said the sex was not consensual and that she was "forced."

England wrote further that the alleged crimes occurred after the suspects offered to give the girl a ride home from school, but took her instead to Bellevue where they purchased condoms at a convenience store before driving to O'Donnell Park.

Once at the park, England wrote, the three took turns in engaging in sex acts with the girl.

England wrote that the suspects told him that any sex acts that occurred that day were initiated by the alleged victim. However, Idaho law does not distinguish between consensual and non-consensual sex acts against a child under 16.

The Bellevue Marshal's Office and Blaine County School District Security Director Scott Manning assisted with the investigation.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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