BHS hazing case: Prosecutor to dismiss some felony charges

BLACKFOOT — The Bingham County Prosecutor’s Office is seeking to dismiss felony charges facing three of the five former Blackfoot High School athletes charged with various criminal offenses that occurred last year.
Bingham County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Randy Smith said the felony charges facing Tyson Katseanes, Anthony Clarke and an unidentified juvenile will be dismissed. Each had been charged with one count of forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object. Both Katseanes and Clarke still face misdemeanor charges.
The Prosecutor’s Office said that with the dismissal of the felony charge against the juvenile, they will no longer seek to have the juvenile prosecuted as an adult and that the remaining charges are misdemeanors.
Two of the four felony complaints against Logan Chidester and Nathan Walker will also be dismissed. Each still face two felony counts and various misdemeanor offenses.
The charges stem from incidents last year that occurred while the five were members of the Blackfoot High School basketball team. They were charged last month.
According to a press release from Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney J. Scott Andrew, various discussions between his office and an alleged victim “have led this office to conclude that the information the alleged victim can provide does not include sufficient detail to warrant continuing to pursue the charges.”
A motion made last week to amend the criminal complaints to add an additional felony count against Chidester, Walker and Clarke will not be pursued after the alleged victim—who is not currently listed in any of the filed criminal complaints—said he did not want to be involved in the pending proceedings and did not want to have the charges pursued.
Andrew said his office is “sensitive to the pressures and concerns that exist for any alleged victim in these matters, particularly in light of the extensive media coverage of the cases and with the polarizing rumor- mongering that has been occurring within the local community.”
If circumstances change, the prosecutor can pursue the charges at a later time. The statute of limitations is five years from the date the crime occurred.
Walker and Chidester will appear in court today for a preliminary hearing on the felony charges. All four are scheduled to appear Feb. 1 for a pretrial hearing on the misdemeanor charges.