Couple under investigation for sexually exploiting teenage employee

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Joseph Jensen of Rigby | Photo courtesy Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Joseph Jensen of Rigby | Photo courtesy Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

RIGBY, Idaho — A couple is under investigation for sexual activities involving a 14-year-old girl.

Joseph Jensen, 39, recently pleaded guilty to two felony charges of lewd conduct with a minor under 16. Originally, he was charged with three counts of lewd conduct, but the third count was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Court documents show the teen was hired by Jensen to train his horses at his rural Jefferson County home. The teen told police their relationship evolved into a sexual one beginning in April 2015 and ending January 2016.

She said multiple incidents occurred at the residence — inside a bedroom, when she spent the night at Jensen’s house, and also in his horse barn.

Several of the sexual encounters occurred while the teen’s mother and Jensen’s wife were getting their nails done, according to court documents.

In interviews with police, Jensen admitted to two sexual encounters with the teen — the incident in the barn and another that involved the teen, Jensen and his wife.

The girl said Jensen’s wife wasn’t a willing participant. In court documents, Jensen admits to coercing his wife into having sex with him at the same time as the victim, and he threatened to leave her if she refused.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sam Tower said Jensen’s wife is considered a suspect, but she has not been formally charged with any crimes at this time.

“I can tell you that the two cases are connected. There’s one shared incident with the same victim,” Tower said.

Jensen’s wife’s case is sealed. Tower told EastIdahoNews.com it is sealed because her case is still being investigated. Tower told EastIdahoNews.com that he could not disclose any information about Jensen’s wife’s case, but said he would be able to at a later time.

According to Jensen’s plea agreement, one of the stipulations of his pleading guilty was that the state would agree to amend charges against the wife to lesser injury to a child charges.

EastIdahoNews.com will publish her name if she faces criminal charges.

Jensen was arrested Feb. 19 on three original charges of lewd conduct with a minor under 16. He bonded out March 8. His bond was set at $100,000.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. His sentencing will be June 6.