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Eastern Idaho attorney facing battery charges after fair incident

Eastern Idaho attorney facing battery charges after fair incident

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BLACKFOOT — Blackfoot attorney Justin Oleson has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery dating back to September for an incident that allegedly took place during the Eastern Idaho State Fair.

Oleson was charged by Twin Falls Prosecutor Grant Loebs, who is acting as special prosecutor in the matter and acted after two boys and their parents insisted that battery charges be filed.

Oleson’s attorney entered not guilty pleas in the case, the Bingham County Chronicle reported.

The incident in question took place on Sept. 7 on the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds during admission to the demolition derby, where Oleson was assisting fairgrounds security in handling patrons attempting to enter the pit area.

Upon finding that the two boys did not have the proper credentials to enter the event, Oleson allegedly grabbed the boys and removed them from the truck in which they were riding.

When Blackfoot Police were summoned to the scene and interviewed Oleson at the time, who said, “I do not recall ever touching anyone” but did recall that two juveniles were very upset at not being able to get into the demolition derby’s pit area because they did not have the proper credentials and being forced to walk into the grandstand area, police said.

The police officers who did the initial contact at the scene did not cite anyone. The charges have come four months after the alleged incident.

Bingham County Prosecutor Paul Rogers has declined to be involved due to “conflict of interest concerns” as he and Oleson work closely together on an almost daily basis with work in and around the courthouse. As a result, Loebs was asked to serve as a special prosecutor in the case.

Oleson has also been under investigation for a separate incident a few days earlier on Sept. 3 in which he allegedly threatened to shoot down a Tadd Jenkins Auto Group helicopter providing rides to fairgoers.

Oleson has not been charged in connection to the threatening phone call. Loebs has confirmed his office is looking into the matter.

“We were asked to take on and screen the case due to a conflict of interest,” Loebs told East Idaho News. “We are still looking at it and it shouldn’t be long before a decision is made.”

Oleson also serves as a member of the Eastern Idaho State Fair Board. Oleson and his legal counsel have declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

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