IDAHO FALLS — An 85-year-old Idaho Falls man accused of lewd conduct with a 4-year-old is sharing his version of events that led to him being charged with a felony sex crime.
Police arrested Charles Cecil Carroll on a felony lewd conduct with a child warrant in April.
During a phone interview Thursday, Carroll shared his side of the story with EastIdahoNews.com. He admits to allowing the girl to inappropriately touch him and says the actions “were not done for pleasure.”
“Her mother lived in the same apartment complex I did, and I used to see them regularly,” Carroll tells EastIdahoNews.com. “She used to come over when she was pregnant. When the baby was born, I went to the hospital to visit, and I held that little girl when she was less than an hour old. I loved her as if she were my own.”
Carroll says he helped raise the child and would often babysit her.
On the morning of the alleged crime, Carroll says he was wearing a robe and no underwear while sitting in his dining room smoking a cigarette. The girl and her mother were at his home.
“My robe had become partially open and I didn’t correct it,” Carroll says. “She walked over and out of curiosity, I’d say, started handling my genitals.”
Carroll says this went on “for three or four minutes” and when asked why he didn’t stop her, he says, “That’s a good question for which I do not have a good answer. I did not encourage her, but I did not discourage her. I wish I would have, but I did not.”
“Her mother came out and saw her touching my genitals,” Carroll says. “She grabbed her and left, and that’s when the whole situation came to a head.”
Carroll disputes investigators who state, in court documents, that he allowed the young girl to touch him for sexual gratification.
“That is an out-and-out lie,” Carroll tells EastIdahoNews.com. “It absolutely had nothing to do with sexual pleasure on my part.”
The child’s mother reported the incident to police, and Carroll was booked into the Bonneville County Jail on $50,000 bond.
During Carroll’s first court appearance in May, Judge Keith Walker ordered Carroll to be released with zero bond, according to court records. A three-year no-contact order was issued to prevent Carroll from communicating with the victim and her mother.
Five weeks later, on June 6, Carroll was charged with violating the no-contact order.
“I had taken out a loan for her car,” Carroll tells EastIdahoNews.com. “She had been making regular payments, but she missed two of them. I got a letter saying the bank was turning it over to collections, so I wanted to drive by to see if the car was still there.”
Carroll didn’t deny the violation and says, “Evidently they saw me drive by and turned me in.”
Carroll pleaded guilty to violating the no-contact order on June 6. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail with 180 days suspended, meaning a judge can immediately order Carroll to jail if he violates orders or commits there crimes.
Carroll’s next court appearance on the lewd conduct charge is scheduled for later this month.