A Rigby man is facing child sex abuse charges after police learned he paid a then 15-year-old Idaho Falls boy for sex acts believing the boy was 18.
An Idaho Falls Police Department detective learned of Randy Russell Sargent, 68, while investigating the child prostitute who had been using Craigslist to arrange meetings with adult men starting in 2016. Sargent responded to the ad and the two arranged to meet for sex.
Sargent admitted to reaching out to the boy for sex, but said they never had intercourse. He said they did touch each other sexually. Sargent said the victim looked younger than 18. The victim told Sargent he had a disease that stopped him from physically maturing. Sargent said he asked to see the victim’s driver’s license and birth certificate, but the victim provided neither. Sargent told police he should have realized then the victim was lying about his age.
The two shared explicit images of each other through text messages. They met five times between August 2016 and October 2017, with Sargent sometimes picking the victim up from school. The police report describes an incident in which a second unidentified man joined Sargent to meet with the victim.
Sargent was charged with child sexual battery, punishable with up to life in prison, and enticing a child over the internet, punishable with up to 15 years in prison. His bail was set at $60,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14 in Bonneville County Courthouse.
It could not be determined if the boy, whose name was redacted from court documents, faces any related charges in the juvenile court system.