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Idaho man charged with soliciting nude photos from Bloomfield girl

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A 26-year-old man is being held on a $150,000 bond after being arrested in Rexburg, Idaho, for allegedly soliciting nude images from a 10-year-old Bloomfield girl.

Christian Valle was charged Feb. 27 in Madison County, Idaho, with one count of child enticement, according to court records.

Bloomfield police Chief Randy Foster said Valle was arrested as a result of a multi-agency investigation initiated by Bloomfield police detective Caleb Coate.

"Overall, I am real proud of the police department and particularly detective Coate," Foster said. "He was able to put together a joint task force of all these different agencies — Homeland Security, the (San Juan County) sheriff's office, the agencies in Idaho — to take this guy off the street."

According to a Bloomfield Police Department arrest report, the girl's mother contacted police on Jan. 24 in regard to sexual images and texts sent to her daughter through Tango, a mobile texting application.

A detective reviewed the messages, sent by a man identified on the application only as Chris, the report states.

In the messages, the man told the girl he was sexually aroused and sent images of his genitals to her, despite the girl telling the man she was 12 years old.

Coate used the girl's Tango account and began texting with the man on Jan. 26, according to the report.

Throughout their conversation, the man requested nude photos of the girl and sent multiple images and videos of himself in various states of undress.

At one point, the man asked the girl to send a photo while she was at school because she was "really cute," the report states.

Coate obtained a search warrant for Chris' Tango account that yielded his phone number. The phone number was then traced to Christian Valle's address in Rexburg, Idaho, the warrant states.

On Feb. 27, Bloomfield police detectives went to Rexburg and met with agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and detectives from the Rexburg Police Department. On that same day, the officers and agents arrested Valle and executed a search warrant at his residence.

Valle confessed in an interview with detectives to communicating with the Bloomfield girl and potentially two other girls who have not been identified or located, according to the report.

San Juan County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dustin O'Brien said that though Valle was charged in Idaho for child enticement, his office can still file charges against him in San Juan County.

"We have the victim of the crime here," he said. "Even if he is soliciting out of state, that means we would be able to charge him."

He said his office will wait to see how the Idaho case is resolved before deciding to file charges.

According to court records, Valle pleaded not guilty to child enticement on Wednesday.

A jury trial is scheduled to take place at the Madison County courthouse in Rexburg on June 29.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and stgarrison@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.