December 6, 2013 in City

Child rape suspect, 18, had similar case in 2012

By The Spokesman-Review
 

An 18-year-old Freeman High School student arrested Wednesday on charges of child rape had avoided registering as a sex offender under a plea deal in a previous similar case, according to court documents.

Joseph Preble was booked into Spokane County Jail after a fellow student reported he was having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Authorities have seized an iPad belonging to the Rockford teenager and a cellphone used by the girl that they say contain explicit images and messages the two sent to each other during a relationship that began at a school-related event in January.

It isn’t the first time Preble has had a run-in with the law for possessing explicit photos of minors.

Preble took a plea deal in April 2012 after authorities discovered explicit text messages and photos on Preble’s cellphone, some of which he said were sent unsolicited. Two 12-year-old girls reported meeting Preble at Silverwood Theme Park in summer 2011 and sending the photos shortly thereafter.

Preble pleaded guilty to two counts of making harassing phone calls to the girls.

Preble’s plea agreement called for a year of probation and 24 hours of community service. He was released from probation in April, four months after the alleged contact began with the 13-year-old.

The 2012 agreement excused Preble from having to register as a sex offender. He is being held in the Spokane County Jail.

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