POCATELLO — The former husband of a Pocatello teacher accused of raping a first-grade boy has been charged with multiple sex crimes.
David James McGarry, 50, of Jerome, has been charged with one count of lewd conduct against a child and one count of rape of a child under the age of 16, both felonies.
McGarry is charged in connection with Tiffany Marie Petersen, 46, of Pocatello, a school teacher who pleaded not guilty to rape and lewd conduct against a child under 16 charges on Tuesday, authorities said.
McGarry was arraigned Thursday afternoon by Magistrate Judge Paul Laggis. He pleaded not guilty to the charges from the Bannock County Jail via video conference.
Laggis released McGarry on his own recognizance after McGarry told the judge that he's currently involved in a counseling program and that he needs to keep working at Dairy Gold in Jerome.
McGarry was indicted for the alleged sex crimes by a Bannock County grand jury on Jan. 16 and was arrested by authorities in Jerome County on Jan. 18. McGarry was then transferred from the Jerome County Jail to the Bannock County Jail on Wednesday.
Similar to Petersen, McGarry allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse and other sexual acts with a first-grade boy starting in August 2008 while Petersen, who was McGarry’s girlfriend at the time, was the boy’s teacher at Washington Elementary School in Pocatello, according to the indictment. The student was 7 or 8 years old at the time of the incidents, which occurred at Washington Elementary School, the indictment said.
McGarry and Petersen face identical charges. They married in January 2009 and remained together for five years until Petersen filed for divorce in July 2014.
Aside from information contained in the criminal indictment, not much is known about the sex crimes McGarry and Petersen are accused of committing because authorities have not released any additional details about the crimes and all other court documents in the case have been sealed.
However, some details about the allegations against McGarry and Petersen are included in a civil lawsuit filed against Petersen and School District 25 by the parents of the allegedly abused former student.
The lawsuit, filed by the alleged victim’s parents in August 2018 in Bannock County court, states that the victim was in Petersen’s first-grade class at Washington Elementary School starting in August 2008 when the sexual abuse began.
The lawsuit accuses Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 of trying to cover up the alleged abuse of the student committed by Petersen and her unnamed boyfriend, who was apparently allowed to be in her classroom while she was teaching at Washington Elementary School.
The lawsuit does not identify Petersen’s boyfriend by name, but authorities confirmed on Thursday that McGarry is reportedly the unnamed boyfriend implicated in the suit.
In addition to the charges he appeared in court for Thursday, McGarry was charged with felony sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16 in February 2017. McGarry pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of felony injury to a child in November 2017.
McGarry received a suspended sentence of six years in prison as well as four years of probation for the felony injury to a minor charge.
McGarry is due back in court for a preliminary hearing in front of Sixth District Judge Stephen Dunn on Jan. 28. Laggis ordered that an attorney from the Bannock County Public Defender's Office be assigned to represent McGarry for future proceedings.
Each of the charges McGarry faces carry maximum penalties of life in prison if he is convicted.