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Law enfocrcement working to stop child abuse

It’s important that we protect children from abuse. Law enforcement in Jefferson County and the city of Rigby are coming together to put a stop to it.

“We had in 2017, more cases filed than any of our surrounding counties excluding Bonneville, I don’t know what their numbers are, but we were significantly higher than Teton, Fremont, and Madison,” says Paul Butikofer, Prosecutor for Jefferson County.

They say there are a lot of reasons for this.

“To me, child abuse cases are the top priority for the prosecutor’s office in Jefferson County. We take them very seriously because we want to protect our children they’re our most valuable asset and if you’re not protecting your children you’re not doing your job,” says Butikofer.

“Our children are our most vulnerable people in the community. They don’t have the ability to defend themselves like many adults do. They generally don’t have the ability to leave the situation. So it’s of utmost importance that as the representatives of the community we do what we can to take care of them,” says Mike Winchester, Deputy Prosecutor for Jefferson County.

“These things are cyclic in nature. These kids grow up in situations where they may become abused and we see the rates with abused children that are victims, those behaviors repeat themselves. And just like with domestic violence and other cyclic crimes, we want to break that cycle as soon as possible,” says Chief Sam Tower, Rigby Police Department.

They say it’s hard dealing with these cases.

“In these cases, nobody wins, we feel good when we can put a stop to it but at the end of the day they’re still injured and they’re still hurt,” says Winchester.

But it’s a good feeling to bring justice.

“You don’t get up and say ‘I hope I catch a child abuser today. I hope that comes across my desk’ nobody wants that. But when we do get these cases we do the things we’re supposed to do and we get good results from them. We’re able to file those reports, file those charges with the prosecution, or in the case where we make an immediate arrest. We get that child out of that situation, we stop that cycle. It feels good,” says Chief Tower.

They also want to point out there are resources available.

Idaho Falls:

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center – 1050 Memorial Dr. (208)-259-4352


Family Crisis Center – 16 E Main St. (208)-356-0065

Teton County:

Family Safety Network – 120 N First St. (208) 354-8057


Bright Tomorrow Child Advocacy Center – 409 Washington Ave. (208) 234-2646

Family Services Alliance – 355 S Arthur Ave. (208) 232-0742


Community Safety Network – (307 )733-3711

National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)

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