Judge rejects plea deal of Idaho woman who had sex with multiple teen boys, filmed their 'hot tub' sessions
Judge Simpson told defense attorney Shane Reichert that such a plea deal would require evidence that the teenage boys had suffered great bodily harm
ARCO, IDAHO: A plea deal made between a prosecutor and a woman accused of having sex with multiple teens while filming her experiences has been rejected by a judge.
District Judge Darren Simpson struck down the deal because according to him the amended charges filed against Amanda Katherine Steele, 34, did not fit the alleged sex offenses. The amended deal has reportedly changed three felony counts of child sexual battery committed by lewd conduct to two counts of felony injury to a child.
According to reports, Judge Simpson told defense attorney Shane Reichert that such a plea deal without evidence that "the teenage boys had suffered great bodily harm due to Steele’s alleged actions" cannot be accepted. “I’m not going to accept a plea on some fiction. I’ve got some concerns about being able to take a plea unless there is a factual basis for it,” the judge said.
Butte County prosecutor attorney Steve Stephens stated that he would continue to work out a deal with Steele that would be legal in the court of law and Simpson could accept. Steele's attorney argued that the teens could suffer bodily harm while having sexual relations with an adult, making the felony injury to child charges sufficient.
But attorney Reichert argued that sex between teens and an adult could result in great bodily harm, thus making the felony injury to child charges sufficient. “I don’t understand the issue. I’ve done it on multiple occasions,” Riechert stated.
The court documents stated that the teenage boys said that they would skip school and Latter-Day Saint seminary to have sex with Steele. Though the teenagers also reportedly considered the sexual encounters consensual, the 34-year-old woman was charged under Idaho laws where a minor, who is 16 or 17, cannot consent for a physical relationship with adults five or more years older than them.
An initial investigation into the case was started in 2017 when Steele’s then-father-in-law contacted local authorities after hearing rumors that she had been hanging out with a group of teenage boys at her home in Butte County. But the investigation was halted in 2018 when neither witnesses nor Steele gave specific answers during the interviews.
Following Steele’s divorce, her ex-husband contacted officials in July 2019 and told them that the woman admitted to him that she had sex with the underage boys. He also shared that he had caught Steele in the family hot tub with a teenage boy. In the same year, a teenage boy also admitted to investigators that he had been having sex with Steele while underage. He confessed to using a Go-Pro camera to record one of their sexual encounters but claimed that the computer with the file was destroyed.
After her arrest in March, Steele was charged with three felony counts of child sexual battery committed by lewd conduct. However, she then chose to take her case to a jury and pleaded not guilty to sex crimes involving multiple teenagers.
Now, another hearing has been set for September 30th at 9:30 am by Simpson to discuss the status of the case. “I’m not trying to throw a wrench into the negotiations because it sounds like you’ve worked on it very hard,” the judge said.