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Man pleads guilty to child endangerment

Staff Writer | December 24, 2020 1:00 AM

RATHDRUM — A man who was arrested last month pleaded guilty to child endangerment.

Police responded around 4:45 a.m. on Nov. 4 to a report of a suspicious vehicle in a residential area of Rathdrum.

The driver, identified as 19-year-old Athol resident Thomas H. Desonia, was alone in the car.

Desonia said he had just visited his 18-year-old girlfriend, who lived in the area, according to court records.

Police contacted the teen, who indicated she was 17 years old and had not seen Desonia that night. The teen’s parent confirmed this, according to court documents.

When questioned, Desonia told police he had actually been with a different girl, who was 17.

Police detained Desonia in handcuffs and contacted the girl’s mother at her residence, who reportedly confirmed the girl was 15 years old.

The teen told police she met up with Desonia earlier and spent time with him in a van. She said Desonia touched her private area, under her clothes, according to court documents.

Police arrested Desonia and charged him with lewd conduct with a child under 16, a felony. Judge Timothy Van Valin ordered that he be held on $100,000 bail.

As part of a pretrial settlement offer, Desonia pleaded guilty last week to felony child endangerment. His bail was lowered to $20,000.

Desonia is scheduled to be sentenced in February.