An Idaho Falls man has been charged after a teen girl reported he sexually abused her while acting as her babysitter.
The victim told a Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office detective that Asuncion Fernando Garcia-Tapia, 53, molested her multiple times at his residence in 2012.
The victim now a teenager, contacted law enforcement after Garcia-Tapia appeared at her birthday party last year. She said meeting him brought back memories of the abuse. Her parents said Garcia-Tapia’s mother-in-law had watched their kids after school.
The babysitting reportedly ended after Garcia-Tapia’s mother-in-law told the victim’s parents their children “were not safe here anymore.”
The detective interviewed Garcia-Tapia’s mother-in-law in June. She said she did not know anything about the reported sexual abuse. She said she stopped the babysitting after an incident in which the victim told her she was having pain. The victim indicated to Garcia-Tapia’s mother-in-law that the pain was in her crotch.
When the detective contacted Garcia-Tapia, he said he sometimes helped watch the children. He originally agreed to be interviewed by the detective, but changed his mind after speaking to an attorney.
Garcia-Tapia was charged with lewd conduct with a child under 16, punishable with up to life in prison. He was arrested Friday and his bond was set at $50,000.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Bonneville County Courthouse.