Man sentenced for sexual abuse of young girls

Jeffrey Beau Stanger | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — A Rexburg man will spend time on a rider program after sexually abusing two girls in two counties and being sentenced by two judges.

Jeffrey Beau Stanger, 23, was recently given a four- to 19-year prison sentence by District Judge Bruce Pickett in Bonneville County. However, at the Feb. 24 sentencing, Pickett opted to retain jurisdiction in the case, meaning Stanger will spend up to a year in a prison treatment program — called a rider — before the judge can either place him on probation or send him back to prison.

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Investigators zoned in on Stanger in August 2019 after he reportedly told a therapist he molested two elementary-age school girls. According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com, Stanger told investigators he acted as the “husband/boyfriend” while playing house when molesting one of the girls.

During Bonneville County’s investigation, Madison County detectives called saying they were looking at Stanger for similar sex crimes against another victim. Both girls spoke with deputies and told them how Stanger had molested them. Of the two victims, one was abused in both Bonneville and Madison counties.

Madison County detectives interviewed Stanger, who admitted to the molestation. Stanger allegedly told deputies that one of the girls wanted to be a grown-up and tried to make him her boyfriend.

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He was arrested, and charges were filed first in Madison County. Prosecutors charged Stanger with felony lewd conduct and felony child sex abuse. As part of a plea agreement, the sex abuse charge was dismissed in exchange for Stanger pleading guilty to lewd conduct. On Dec. 21, District Judge Steven Boyce sentenced Stanger to three to 10 years in prison but opted to retain jurisdiction in the case and put Stanger into a rider program.

After Boyce handed down the sentence, Stanger came to Bonneville County to face two additional counts of felony lewd conduct, which eventually resulted in Pickett’s recent sentencing. The Bonneville charges were filed in 2019, but prosecutors were waiting for the conclusion of the Madison County case. Attorneys in both cases recommended a rider program for Stanger.

Once released from prison Stanger will have to register as a sex offender.