02/22/2006

Idaho officer accused of sleeping with suspect's wife

By PHIL DAVIDSON, 

Copyright 2006 The Post Register
All Rights Reserved 

The Rigby Police Department has asked Idaho State Police to investigate an officer who allegedly had sex with the wife of a man he arrested for methamphetamine possession.

The woman said she first had sex with the officer within a few days of a protection hearing for her three children.

Because the children's father - her husband - had been arrested for felony drug possession, a judge ruled Jan. 30 that the children were in imminent danger and placed them in the care of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Shortly after that, the woman said, the officer came to her home to help her clean the family's house.

He told her he could help make it compliant with health and welfare's standards, allowing her to get her children back, she said.

While cleaning, she said, the officer found a pornographic DVD and played it, leading to their sexual encounter.

Within a couple of days, they had sex again at a motel while the officer was on duty, the woman said.

The Post Register does not name victims of sex crimes. Nor will the Post Register name the officer unless or until charges or disciplinary action is recommended. This is the same standard we routinely apply in the coverage of criminal cases.

The investigation has not started.

On Friday, state police were waiting on a letter from Rigby Police Chief Larry Anderson authorizing the probe. State Police Capt. Danny Bunderson said the agency's standard procedure is to forward investigation requests to state police headquarters in Boise, where the decision on whether to move forward will ultimately be made.

Rigby City Attorney Steve Clark informed the City Council about the investigation Wednesday night. In the meantime, Bunderson has referred questions about the investigation to Clark, as did Anderson.

Clark said the officer doesn't seem to have broken any laws. But, he said, if the woman's allegations are true, the officer would be in violation of the police department's rules.

The police department stands by the officer, Clark said, adding that it won't take any action unless the investigation reveals wrongdoing.

""We have a commitment to making sure the truth is available to everybody,"" he said.

The woman's attorney, Kelly Mallard of Idaho Falls, said he, too, would wait for the investigation to end before deciding whether to file a lawsuit against the Rigby Police Department.

The woman's husband is in jail on a $100,000 bond for violating his probation related to a 2004 DUI conviction.

Cops and courts reporter Phil Davidson can be reached at 542-6750. 
 
February 21, 2006

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