PAYETTE — A Fruitland man who is facing multiple felony charges after allegedly having sexual contact with a minor will see his day in court after a plea hearing on Friday.

Kelly Rhinehart, who was 52 at the time of the alleged incident, is facing five felony counts, including rape, one count of sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508A(1)(a): defined as lewd or lascivious acts) and three counts of sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508A(1)(c): sexual contact but not defined as lewd).

During the Aug. 16 arraignment, Rhinehart pleaded not guilty to the charges. Also during the hearing, Judge Susan Wiebe issued a voluntary order of disqualification, dismissing herself from the case. Judge Davis VanderVelde, of Canyon County, has since been assigned to the case. VanderVelde has yet to set any future court dates on the case.

According to the indictment, two of the counts of sexual battery of a minor (18-1508A(1)(c)) stem from alleged incidents that happened between March 2 and April 29.

The rape charge, along with the sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508A(1)(a)) and one count of sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508A(1)(c)) are from an alleged incident on April 30.

Rhinehart was an assistant track and field coach at Fruitland High School, according to the minutes from the Fruitland School Board of Trustees meeting in May, Rhinehart resigned from his position this year.

An email to Fruitland School District superintendent Teresa Fabricius regarding when Rhinehart was hired at the school was not answered.

Load comments