BUHL • A local man has been charged with sexual abuse of a child younger than 16 after he inappropriately touched an 8-year-old girl who lives nearby, deputies said.
On Tuesday, July 16, Twin Falls County sheriff’s deputies met with a couple who said their daughter was sexually abused.
The parents said their 8-year-old daughter and her brothers went for a bike ride with a neighbor named Scott Monroe Laughlin.
The parents gave this account to deputies, according to court documents:
Laughlin, 32, took the children to look for frogs in an area southeast of Buhl. The father said he found Laughlin in there with his hands up his daughter’s shirt, and the girl sitting on his lap.
The father told Laughlin to go home and called police.
Deputies spoke to Laughlin at his house and reported seeing pornography DVDs advertising “barely legal girls.”
Laughlin denied abusing the girl, saying she ran up to give him a hug and the force of her hug knocked him to the ground.
One of the girl’s brothers said he saw Laughlin get tired and sit down with his sister on his lap.
Deputies told Laughlin they found his story difficult to believe, but he continued to deny touching the girl inappropriately.
He was taken to the county jail. Wednesday, Laughlin’s bond was set at $50,000.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 27.
Editor's note: An intersection near where the alleged crime occurred has been removed from this story to avoid the possibility of identifying the victim in the case. Times-News policy is not to identify victims of sex crimes.