Jeffrey Stanger

Stanger

A Rexburg man who admitted he sexually assaulted two children was sentenced to retained jurisdiction Wednesday.

The sentencing for Jeffrey Beau Stanger, 23, was recommended by both the defense and prosecution, though they recommended different underlying sentences.

Stanger was arrested in the summer of 2019. The Bonneville County case was on hold until January, after Stanger was sentenced to retained jurisdiction in a Madison County case, in which he was also accused of sexually abusing a child.

The victims, who were 7 and 8 years old at the time of the abuse, told a forensic interviewer that Stanger had sexually assaulted them during a family gathering in July. Stanger admitted to the sexual assaults to a therapist, who contact the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Children and Family Services.

One of the victims’ mothers said she confronted Stanger, and that he admitted to the abuse. During an interview with police, he said he groomed one of the victims by “playing house” with her and acting as the “husband.”

Defense Attorney Trent Grant asked District Judge Bruce Pickett to give Stanger an underlying sentence similar to the one he received in Madison County, three to 10 years in prison.

Grant said his client had been in jail for more than a year, that he had apologized to the family and taken responsibility.

Bonneville County Assistant Chief Deputy Prosecutor Alex Muir recommended a longer underlying sentence of five to 17 years in prison, saying there would need to be strong consequences if Stanger did not cooperate with treatment or committed another offense. Muir noted that Stanger sexually abused the victims multiple times.

Stanger gave a statement apologizing for his actions and admitting they were wrong.

“I do care about what’s happened, and I understand it’s looked at very negatively,” Stanger said. “If there’s something I can do to assure it will not happen again, I will do it.”

Pickett gave Stanger an underlying sentence of four to 19 years in prison.

Retained jurisdiction, also known as a rider program, is a treatment program in prison lasting six months to a year that aims to reduce the likelihood an inmate will reoffend upon release. After Stanger completes the program, Pickett may release him on parole or can impose the underlying sentence.