SHOSHONE — Court documents posted online this week shine some more light on the case of the former Lincoln County sheriff accused of rape and sexually abusing a child.
Rene Rodriguez, 40, resigned from his role as sheriff on April 8, the same day he was arraigned in Blaine County on one count of sexual abuse of a minor, four counts of lewd conduct with a child under 16 and two counts of rape. He was taken into custody the previous Friday.
According to a redacted indictment, Rodriguez is accused of sexually abusing an underage girl between 2005 and 2014, starting when the child was 9 years old. The multiple counts appear to be for different incidents with the same girl. The alleged acts took place in Blaine, Lincoln, Jerome and Twin Falls counties.
The two counts of rape stem from allegations that Rodriguez had sex with the girl twice when she was 17 years old; he is charged under a statute that applies when the victim is 16 or 17 years old and the perpetrator is more than three years older.
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Rodriguez is scheduled to be arraigned in District Court next Monday.
Lincoln County Commissioners have not yet appointed a new sheriff. They will make their selection from three candidates provided to them by the Republican Central Committee. In the meantime, the position has been vacated and Undersheriff Steve Phillips is serving as interim sheriff.
Rodriguez first went on leave Feb. 4. His first 30 days of leave were paid; after that, commissioners granted him unpaid leave.
He began his term as sheriff in 2017. Before his election he was a Shoshone Police sergeant and worked for the sheriff’s departments in Blaine and Lincoln counties.