January 8, 2009

Convicted Sex Offender Jonathan Folk Found Guilty of Another Crime

January 8, 2009

KPVI Channel 6

Bonneville County, Idaho -- After a four-day trial, a Bonneville County jury finds a convicted sex offender guilty of a new crime against a child.

After four and a half hours of deliberations, 41-year-old Jonathan Folk was found guilty of lewd conduct with a child. The incident involved a five-year-old boy on Christmas Day 2007. Folk has two prior convictions of molesting young boys.

The jury of seven women and five men came to a unanimous decision late Thursday afternoon and found this registered sex offender committed a serious lewd act on a little boy.

This four day trial can easily be described as disturbing; two of his past victims - now ages 22 and 28 - took the stand this week, as well as the mother of a third victim. Also hard to listen to were details on this most recent case with a five-year-old boy who, now six years old, bravely testified this week.

Folk represented himself during this trial, although he was assigned a "shadow council" from the Public Defenders Office to assist him if needed. But he called witnesses and cross-examined those on the stand, and even testified.

On Christmas Day 2007, Jonathan Folk went to the house of some distant relatives in Idaho Falls. He admits he took a five-year-old boy into a bedroom alone, but what the child says happened and what Folk says happened was in dispute.

Folk denies he ever put his mouth on the boy's private area. The next day, the boy told his mother about the lewd conduct, and she called the police.

In closing arguments, deputy prosecutor Bruce Pickett asked the jury to return with a guilty verdict because of all the evidence presented.

But Folk asked the jurors not to look at his past crimes, but the lack of evidence in this case. But the jury unanimously felt the evidence showed Folk was guilty.

The victim's parents do not want to be identified but say they are pleased with the decision and warn other parents to be careful with who is around their children.

Victim's mother and father: "Watch everybody who comes around your children; if you have to, ask them lots of questions. Make sure you know what kind of person they are, their background; don't let them in your home or around your children or anything unless you know them very well."

As soon as the verdict was read, Folk didn't make much of a reaction. He will be sentenced at the end of February. Folk faces up to life in prison for lewd conduct with a child.

The young boy's mother said she had no idea Folk was a convicted child molester when he came over that Christmas Day. She said if she knew, he would not have been allowed inside her home.

Deputy Prosecutor Bruce Pickett was also pleased with the jury's decision and said these type of cases are always hard on everyone involved.


No comments: