Conflicts of interest plague prosecuting Kingston man

A 19-year-old Kingston, Idaho man has been arrested on charges of inappropriately touching a five-year-old, but prosecuting him could prove to be a challenge.

The challenge is that Reid Yergler, who has been charged with two counts of lewd conduct, is well-connected in Shoshone County. His dad is a police officer and his uncle is a county commissioner.

The criminal complaint accuses Yergler on two counts of lewd conduct, which in Idaho is essentially sexual contact with a child under 16. In this case, prosecutors say Yergler had sexual contact with a five year old between early September and November 11.

Court documents also show that the county prosecutor, Val Siegel, has filed a petition to be taken off the case. Siegel cites a conflict of interest, “as he currently is actively involved in the prosecution of other case(s) in which the defendant’s father is the arresting officer.”

Yergler’s father is an officer with the Kellogg Police Department.

A special prosecuting attorney was appointed to handle filing the complaint and initial appearance.

After repeated attempts to contact the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office they finally responded by saying they had no comment on the case. Yergler’s attorney also declined comment.

Yergler’s bail has been set at $250,000 and he is being held in the Shoshone County Jail.

The case will now go to the Idaho Attorney General’s office because of the conflicts of interest in the case and a prosecutor will then be assigned to the case.