Rene Rodriguez

Rene Rodriguez

SHOSHONE — Lincoln County Sheriff Rene Rodriguez has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing a child.

Rodriguez was booked into the Blaine County jail late Friday afternoon on counts of rape, sexual abuse of a child and lewd conduct with a minor child, according to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office website. The arrest was made by Idaho State Police.

If convicted of the charges, Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Rodriguez first requested a monthlong period of paid leave on Feb. 4. His attorney, Michael Wood of Twin Falls, asked in the first week of March to extend the leave for 30 more days without pay. Commissioner Roy Hubert told the Times-News at the time that the did not know why Rodriguez had requested the leave, and attorney Wood declined to comment.

Hubert said Saturday that the unpaid leave ends Monday. Rodriquez has not resigned or asked for another extension, but might on Monday, he said.

“While we would listen to his reasons very carefully, we wouldn’t sweep it under the rug,” Hubert said.

Commissioners Rebecca Wood and Rick Ellis were not immediately available Saturday morning to comment on Rodriguez’s status as sheriff.

Steve Phillips has been serving as sheriff in the interim.

Lincoln County is a rural south central Idaho county with a population of about 5,300 people located west of the Craters of the Moon National Monument. Shoshone is the county seat.

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