Michael Carter

Carter

An Idaho Falls man who worked for a medical transportation company was arrested Sept. 5 for reportedly sexually assaulting two 16-year-old girls.

Michael Albert Carter, 29 was a driver for En Route Transportation, an Idaho Falls company that transports patients to nonemergency medical appointments. He admitted to having sex with an underage patient with an intellectual disability while taking her to an appointment Aug. 28. During the investigation police found photos and a video of Carter having sex with an underage girl.

The victim’s sister contacted an Idaho Falls Police Department officer Sept. 4 to report she found text messages with Carter on the victim’s phone, including nude photos of the victim.

The sister called the number, and the man who answered said he was 22 years old and thought the victim was older. The sister learned later the man was Carter, who had been working at a medical transportation company taking the victim to and from medical appointments. The sister told police the victim deleted the text messages after her family discovered them.

The victim told police she started texting with Carter and he started asking for nude photographs. The victim said she and Carter had sex four times in August, in the back of the transport van when he picked her up for medical appointments.

Police interviewed Carter, who admitted having sex with the victim once and receiving nude photos from her. Carter said he deleted the text messages after learning the victim was under 18. He also admitted to looking up child pornography online.

Teresa Browning, the transportation company’s owner, said she fired Carter after learning of the sexual abuse. She told the police Carter would have known the age of the victim and other patients. Carter had been an transport driver since April. Browning allowed officers to examine the van Carter used for evidence.

Browning said in an interview with the Post Register that she performed a background check on Carter before hiring him. She said she was upset to learn one of her employees had abused a patient.

“It makes us sick,” Browning said. “How do you even know anymore with anyone you hire?”

The company would not comment on whether there had been previous complaints about Carter.

Carter gave investigators permission to search his phone and Google accounts. The detective did not find photos of the victim, but instead found 21 photos and a video of another 16-year-old girl having sex with an unidentified man. The photos were uploaded to the Google account Aug. 10. Carter denied knowing about the photos.

The second victim was taken to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for a forensic interview. The victim said the photos and video were of her having sex with an ex-boyfriend who used Carter’s phone to take the photos.

The detective conducted a second interview because he suspected the victim was lying. She then said the man in the photos was Carter. The victim told police she asked Carter to have sex with her.

Carter admitted to having sex with the second victim multiple times at her request when she was 15 and taking the photos and video. Under Idaho law a minor cannot consent to sex with an adult.

Carter’s charges were split into two cases. For the first victim he was charged with sexual battery by lewd or lascivious acts on a minor child 16 to 17 years of age, punishable with up to a life sentence, and willfully possessing or accessing child sexually exploitative material, punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

For the second case Carter was charged with lewd conduct with a child under 16, punishable with up to a life sentence, and production of child sexually exploitative material, punishable with up to 30 years in prison.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday in Bonneville County Courthouse. A hearing for the no-contact orders between Carter and the victims is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 19.

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

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