JUDGE REJECTS PLEA DEAL FOR IDAHO WOMAN ACCUSED OF HAVING SEX WITH TEENAGE BOYS
June 18, 2020
A plea deal agreed upon by an Idaho woman accused of having sex with teenage boys was reportedly rejected by a district judge on Wednesday.
Amanda Katherine Steele, 34, had struck up an agreement with prosecutors over the case stemming from her November 2019 arrest for allegedly sleeping with teens who would skip school to see her, East Idaho News reported.
The teens reportedly consented to the encounters. But Steele was charged under a state law that says 16- and 17-year-olds cannot consent to sexual relations with adults at least five years older in age, the report said.
Steele was charged with three felony counts of child sexual battery committed by lewd conduct, but under the plea bargain, she agreed to cop to two counts of felony injury to a child.
District Judge Darren Simpson on Wednesday said evidence showing the alleged victims suffered bodily harm was needed before he could accept the deal, the news site reported.
“I’m not going to accept a plea on some fiction,” Simpson said. “I’ve got some concerns about being able to take a plea unless there is a factual basis for it.”
Steele was busted after a nearly two-year investigation into claims she was sleeping with the minors.
The probe began in late 2017 when her father-in-law contacted authorities about rumors Steele was hanging around a group of teen boys.
Around that time, one of the teens admitted to deputies he engaged in sexual activity with Steele but didn’t want to press charges.
The teen “didn’t think it was a big deal,” according to a probable cause statement obtained by East Idaho News.
Detectives interviewed Steele in April 2018 and she acknowledged several teenage boys came to her home, but she refused to comment on if she had sex with them.
The investigation took on new life in July 2019 when Steele’s ex-husband walked in on her and a teen boy snuggling in a hot tub, the report said.
One of the teens, when interviewed by authorities in 2019, admitted to having sex with Steele while he was a minor.
Steele has been free on a $50,000 bond and her next court date is set for Sept. 30.
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