Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Trial under way in child sex-abuse case

Bellevue man accused of crimes against 5-year-old girl

Express Staff Writer

Marcelino B. Baeza

    A jury trial entered its second day on Tuesday in Blaine County 5th District Court for a Bellevue man accused of two felony sex crimes against a child. Hailey police reported earlier that the alleged victim was 5 years old and related to the defendant, 45-year-old Marcelino B. Baeza.
    Baeza was indicted by a Blaine County grand jury in July of 2013 on two counts of lewd conduct with a child under 16, a crime punishable in Idaho by up to life in prison.
    The charges stemmed from a 2013 joint investigation between Hailey police and the Bellevue Marshal’s Office following complaints from the family that the girl was sexually abused at a home on North Third Avenue in Bellevue.
    Baeza is currently free on $35,000 bond. He is represented by Hailey attorney Douglas Nelson.
    The trial started on Monday with jury selection and is scheduled to last five days.
    District Court Judge Jonathan P. Brody, who normally presides in Minidoka County, is the presiding judge. Brody was assigned to the case in April after Judge Robert J. Elgee disqualified himself following an earlier attempt at trial that was aborted that month.
    Neither Nelson nor Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback would discuss the reason for the earlier trial being canceled, other than to say that new information related to the case had surfaced the day of the trial.

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