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Bingham County coroner arrested, accused of sexual battery in Boise

Oct. 18, 2022 Updated Tue., Oct. 18, 2022 at 8:57 p.m.

By Kalama Hines and Nate Eaton Idaho Statesman The Idaho Statesman

The Bingham County coroner has been charged with misdemeanor sexual battery.

James K. Roberts, 55, was charged with sexual battery in Ada County, according to court records.

Because the charge is a misdemeanor, information regarding the alleged crime is limited. However, court documents indicate that Roberts was accused of grabbing a woman’s breasts on April 13.

The incident occurred in the 1400 block of Entertainment Avenue in Boise and was reported to Boise police, Boise Police Department spokesperson Haley Kramer told the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday.

A warrant for Roberts’ arrest was issued out of Ada County on Oct. 13 and served Monday morning in Oneida County.

Roberts was arrested before being released on his own recognizance. A no-contact order has been issued barring Roberts from contact with the accuser, court documents showed.

EastIdahoNews.com attempted to reach Roberts for comment but has not received a response.

Roberts, the former chief deputy coroner, won the Republican nomination for the office in May’s primary election. He has served in the role since the retirement of former Coroner Nick Hirschi.

Bingham County officials are calling for Roberts’ resignation.

In a letter released Monday afternoon, county commissioners, the prosecutor, sheriff, clerk, treasurer and assessor all called for Roberts to step down.

“The coroner’s office plays a very important role for Bingham County. These personal distractions must not interrupt the service that is provided by the coroner’s office,” the letter says. “Elected officials have a duty to serve Bingham County, when elected officials are facing criminal charges it places a burden on the county as a whole due to unwanted publicity and negativity. In order to best serve the citizens of Bingham County, and to protect Bingham County from the negative backlash, the elected officials join together and request the resignation of the appointed Bingham County Coroner, James K. Roberts.”

Idaho Statesman reporter Alex Brizee contributed to this report.

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