Stephen Young pleads not guilty

Associated Press/April 1, 2010

Boise - Former Boise police officer Stephen Young, 58, has pleaded not guilty to charges of lewd conduct with four children under the age of 16. The four victims are children ranging in ages from one month old to 21 months old.

Young was arrested last month after admitting to deputies he molested the four young children. Young confessed at the urging of another Boise officer who found out about the crimes, which may go back as far as 30 years. Investigators said they found evidence Young may have victimized children he knew from working as a school resource officer for 10 years.

If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Stephen Young will face a four-day jury trial starting June 28 in front of 4th District Judge Michael Wetherell, with a pretrial conference set for June 10th. He's now jailed on a $250,000 bond.

Young's attorney may ask for a change a venue because of the high amount of publicity the case has received here.

In addition to Young, the Ada County Sheriff's Department is investigating how much the local leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knew about Young's actions and when they were made aware of them.

A statement issued by the Church says, "this matter came to light because local church leaders worked with Steve Young, consistent with clergy privilege required by Idaho law, resulting in a confession by Mr. Young to the proper authorities. Steven Young was recently excommunicated from the Church."

The church says Idaho law is clear that the local leaders who knew about Young's actions are covered by what's referred to as priest-penitent privilege.

At the same time, the Sheriff's Office says those who know about child abuse need to report it.

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