A man who was caught having sex with an underage girl will serve no time in prison after a district judge sentenced him to probation.
Johnnie Junior Huddleston, 24, was arrested in August after the 17-year-old girl reported he raped her in March. According to the probable cause affidavit, a friend of Huddleston caught the two of them having sex in the friend’s car. Huddleston was charged with sexual battery committed by lewd or lascivious acts on a minor child 16 to 17 years of age.
Huddleston admitted to having sex with the victim, but denied using force. The owner of the car said the two were laughing when he came out. A polygraph examination did not find deception on Huddleston’s part.
Under Idaho law, minors cannot consent to sexual intercourse with an adult, and sex with a minor is a criminal act by the adult, even if they do not know the minor’s age.
Bonneville County Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Jolley and Public Defender Neal Randall jointly recommended the probation sentence with an underlying sentence of three to 10 years in prison.
Jolley said he spoke to the victim about the sentence and she agreed it was acceptable. He added that Huddleston had cooperated with law enforcement on work release and probation in the past. Huddleston has spent 10 months in jail during court proceedings.
Huddleston said he had stayed sober, gotten a job and reconnected with his family.
“Everything’s headed in the right direction and I’d like to keep it that way,” Huddleston said.
District Judge Dane Watkins Jr. asked the defendant what he would say to the victim if she was in the courtroom. Huddleston said he didn’t know.
“You want to take a minute to figure that out?” Watkins asked.
After an aside with his attorney, Huddleston said he would apologize.
Watkins told Huddleston another similar offense would result in a prison sentence. He ordered Huddleston to not contact the victim, except to write her a letter of apology.
Huddleston will be required to register as a sex offender.