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Woman who had sex with teen boys strikes plea deal

Amanda Katherine Steele | Caribou County Jail
ARCO — A Soda Springs woman pleaded guilty to two counts of felony injury to a child after multiple teenage boys said they engaged in sexual activity with her in 2016.
Amanda Katherine Steele, 34, was originally charged with three felony counts of child sexual battery committed by lewd conduct. But a binding plea agreement Steele signed with Butte County Prosecutor Steve Stephens dropped one of the counts and amended the other two to lesser injury to child charges.
The plea agreement stipulates Steele be given a sentence no longer than a retained jurisdiction or rider program, which is typically six months to one year. The agreement also clarifies that if a psychosexual evaluation shows Steele is a low risk to re-offend, then she is to be placed on probation with local jail time on the table. If given any of the jail time, it would be served on weekends when she does not have custody of her children.
A rider is when a judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs, including sex abuse treatment. When the inmate has completed the program, the judge can then decide to send them back to prison or release them on probation.
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If Steele is convicted of any other sex crime occurring after Nov. 19, 2019, prosecutors can refile the first count of child sexual battery committed by lewd conduct again.
According to court documents, the boys said they would skip school and Latter-day Saint seminary and go to Steele’s home to have sex. At the time, Steele lived in Arco.
Although the victims considered the sexual conduct consensual, prosecutors charged Steele because under Idaho law, a minor who is 16 and 17 cannot consent to sex with adults five or more years older than them.
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The investigation opened in late 2017 when Steele’s then-father-in-law contacted deputies after hearing rumors that a group of boys would hang out with Steele at her home in Butte County.
The investigation stalled in the spring of 2018 with the reported victims, Steele and others not giving specific answers during interviews. Following a divorce, Steele’s ex-husband told deputies in July 2019 that Steele admitted to him she had sex with the underage boys.
Steele officially pleaded guilty at a hearing Tuesday morning. A sentencing date is not yet on the public court docket.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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