Sunday, November 28, 2021

Rape trial set for local teen

Staff Writer | November 20, 2021 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — A former Lake City High School student is expected to stand trial Dec. 6 for rape.

The suspect, 16, is charged with rape, attempted strangulation and aggravated assault, all felonies. He is also charged with battery, a misdemeanor.

In Idaho, juveniles between ages 14 and 18 charged with rape are automatically charged as adults.

The suspect’s name has not been released.

A teen girl contacted Coeur d’Alene police in late April to report what she described as more than a year of daily abuse at the hands of her former boyfriend.

The girl testified at a preliminary hearing that the suspect raped her repeatedly between February 2020 and January 2021.

Her former boyfriend frequently beat her, she said.

In court, she described an incident where the suspect allegedly chased her with a baseball bat into a wooded area behind his home.

“I was afraid he would kill me,” she said.

Police said video and audio recordings depicting the abuse had circulated among students.

In one video presented in court, a person identified by prosecutors as the suspect could be heard yelling.

The girl said she hid her phone under her leg in order to record the video, which primarily showed the interior of the suspect’s car.

After the sound of a scuffle, the girl cried out and sobbed, “Please don’t hit me.”

The suspect continued to scream.

“You bring this upon yourself,” he yelled. “You make me turn into a bad guy. This is my fault for doing this s— to you, but you drive me insane to the point that I have to do it.”

Classmates testified that they had seen hand-shaped bruises on the girl’s arms, as well as black eyes and bruising around her neck.

A classmate told the court that he confronted the suspect about the rumors of abuse circulating at school.

He said the suspect admitted to raping and beating the girl.

“He tried to convince me he was changing and trying to be better,” the classmate said. “He was trying to save our friendship.”

The suspect has reportedly not been present on the Lake City High School campus since charges were filed.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or sexual abuse, call Safe Passage Violence Prevention Center’s 24-hour hotline: 208-664-9303.