Jeffrey Stanger

Stanger

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A Rexburg man has been charged with lewd conduct with a minor.

The charge was filed after Jeffrey Beau Stanger, 23, admitted to a counselor he sexually assaulted two girls during a gathering in Bonneville County in the summer of 2019.

The case has been on hold while a separate case in Madison County for sexual abuse of a minor proceeded. Stanger pleaded guilty in that case and was sentenced on Dec. 21 to three to 10 years in prison.

The incident was referred to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Children and Family Services. A department representative later told the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office of the incident.

A detective contacted the mothers of the two victims. One said her daughter told her of the incident and that the family confronted Stanger, who admitted to inappropriately touching the victim. The other mother said she had not been aware of the incident.

One of the mothers said Stanger’s father approached her before the gathering telling her to not let her daughter be alone with Stanger, telling her Stanger was acting “strange” and should not be left alone with young girls.

Both victims, ages 7 and 8, told the detective in separate forensic interviews that Stanger had inappropriately touched them while they were inside a camper watching a movie. One of the victims said she told Stanger to stop, but that he continued to touch her.

During the investigation, a detective from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said they were investigating Stanger for a similar incident involving one of the same victims. The detective stated Stanger had admitted in an interview to sexually assaulting the victim in both the Madison case and the Bonneville case.

Stanger admitted to touching the victim at least seven times, according to the probable cause affidavit. He said he groomed the victim by pretending to “play house” and be the husband.

Stanger was charged with two counts of lewd conduct with a minor, each punishable with up to life in prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 15 in Bonneville District Court.