Miguelanjel

Rodriguez

An Idaho Falls man was sentenced to a rider program Wednesday for a sexual assault he committed against a teen girl last year.

Miguelanjel Rodriguez, 27, had pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a minor 16 to 17 years of age.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the victim woke up to find Rodriguez naked next to her wearing a condom and touching her. He had been allowed to stay the night because the victim’s family worried he was too drunk to drive himself home.

Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey read a victim impact statement. In it the victim said Rodriguez’s crime had made it more difficult for her and her family to trust others.

“My trust and future have been altered by this man’s actions,” Dewey read from the girl’s statement.

The victim said she had suffered depression since the assault and that Rodriguez’s family began harassing her after news reports of his arrest were published. She said they would confront her in public and record her.

“I hope he realizes he took a part of my life that I will never be able to get back,” the statement said.

Defense Attorney Kyle Hansen asked the judge to give Rodriguez probation. He said his client’s actions were driven by drug and alcohol use.

“When Mr. Rodriguez has a clear mind and a clear head, he would never do this,” Hansen said.

Dewey argued for retained jurisdiction, citing Rodriguez’s actions and his attitude toward the charge. He said that while Rodriguez had a limited criminal history, he had been uncooperative with his probation officer and avoided required treatment.

Dewey also cited the presentence investigation report that found Rodriguez was a moderate risk to reoffend and showed signs of both narcissistic personality disorder and sadistic personality traits. Dewey also said Rodriguez changed his story several times and failed a polygraph examination. Dewey said the polygraph examiner suspected Rodriguez was trying to cheat the test by controlling his breathing.

Rodriguez challenged Dewey’s statement and the presentence report, saying he had been “100 percent honest” with investigators.

“I’m not a predator,” Rodriguez said. “That’s not who I am. I’m not a criminal; I just made a mistake.”

The probable cause affidavit indicates Rodriguez did change his story and lie to law enforcement several times. When first interviewed, he denied the charge.

The victim’s sister had called Rodriguez and recorded him without his permission. During the call he asked the sister to not be “impulsive” and blamed his actions on drugs. When confronted with the recording by law enforcement, Rodriguez denied it was his voice.

District Judge Bruce Pickett cited Rodriguez’s dishonesty, saying the facts didn’t match his statements in court. He also confronted Rodriguez about his claim that he was not a predator or a criminal.

“I think on that night you were,” Pickett said. “She was asleep and you preyed upon her.”

As part of the rider program, also known as retained jurisdiction, Rodriguez will have to serve up to a year in prison while undergoing treatment and classes to prevent him from repeating his crime.

When he completes the program, Pickett will determine if Rodriguez should serve his underlying sentence or be released on probation. Pickett warned Rodriguez that he would need a clean polygraph examination or to otherwise acknowledge his actions, or he would not release him to probation.

Rodriguez was given an underlying sentence of 2 to 15 years in prison. He will have to register as a sex offender when released.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.

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