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Skinner found guilty, faces two life sentences

August 1, 2022

The testimony of two children, ages four and six, helped convince Judge Barbara Buchanan of their father's guilt on two counts of lewd conduct with a minor under age 16 following a brief court trial Wednesday. Josiyah Nathaniel Skinner, 30, Moyie Springs, was remanded in custody without bail pending sentencing at 9 a.m. Friday, October 21. He faces up to life in prison on each count.

The sexual abuse began in October, 2018, but didn't come to light until January 15, 2019, when, during a class discussion at preschool, the four-year-old told his teacher. The six-year-old, also a student at the school, later admitted to having also been victimized when the two were interviewed by counselors.

The children were immediately placed in protective custody and later returned to their mother, who divorced Skinner.

"The Court has to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the acts occurred," minutes of the trial read. "Would note that there (is) no question about the defendant being identified by the children ... This is a court trial, not a jury. The defendant chose this type of trial ...over three and a half years, their story is consistent."

"I do find the state has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that these acts occurred," Buchanan said. "The state has met its burden."

While awaiting sentencing, Skinner will undergo a psychosexual and other evaluations.

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Mike Weland, Publisher

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