Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Court takes on new rape cases

2 men accused of having sex with 14-year-old girls

Express Staff Writer

An 18-year-old Wood River High School senior has been charged with rape, a felony punishable in Idaho by up to life in prison, for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old freshman girl.

Mark Allen Karlovich, of Hailey, was arrested by Hailey police Thursday evening and was formally charged with the crime Friday in Blaine County Magistrate Court. Hailey attorney Cheri Hicks was appointed public defender.

Karlovich remained incarcerated in the Blaine County jail until released Monday on $3,000 bond.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated case, 19-year-old Christopher Walter Clayton Downhill, of Bellevue, was arraigned on a rape charge Monday in Blaine County 5th District Court. Downhill is also accused of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl.

Downhill pleaded not guilty and a jury trial was scheduled for March 12. He remains free on $15,000 bond and is represented by Hailey attorney Christopher Simms, who was appointed public defender.


Karlovich case

A probable-cause affidavit filed in the Karlovich case by Hailey Patrolman Raul Ornelas, who serves as resource officer at Wood River High School, provides conflicting statements from the defendant and the girl as to whether the alleged sex act was forced or consensual. However, under Idaho law, consent is not relevant to a rape charge if a victim is under 16.

Ornelas wrote that the girl told him that she was riding her bike early the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 10, when she was confronted by Karlovich at his home on Queen of the Hills Drive in Hailey. Ornelas wrote that the girl said Karlovich forced her off her bike, covered her mouth with his hand and forced her into the house where the alleged rape occurred.

Ornelas further wrote that Karlovich told him that he and the girl were acquainted, had been communicating on Facebook and that she willingly came into the house.

Ornelas wrote in the report that the girl was taken later that day by her parents to St. Luke’s Wood River for an examination. He wrote that he became involved when the alleged incident was reported on Thursday, Oct. 11, to a social worker at the high school.

Karlovich was located later that day at a home in the Woodside area and arrested after being questioned at the Hailey police office.

It was not clear whether Karlovich would be allowed to remain in school because of a no-contact order issued ordering him not to be within 300 feet of the alleged victim. The Blaine County School District does not publicly release information involving possible disciplinary actions against students.


Downhill case

The complaint in the rape case against Downhill alleges that he had consensual sexual intercourse with a different 14-year-old girl “on or about June 14th at the girl’s home in Bellevue.”

A probable-cause affidavit filed by Bellevue Marshal Larry Clark states that the alleged sex act wasn’t reported to the girl’s parents until Sept. 5. The parents then notified police and an investigation was started. Clark wrote that when questioned, Downhill denied any sexual involvement with the girl. Nonetheless, he was arrested on Sept. 6.

Terry Smith:


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