In a press release provided to the Teton Valley News on Friday, Teton County Sheriff Tony Liford announced the arrest of a Fremont County man on Friday, August 23, for alleged rape and battery. 31-year-old Chet K. Neilson is charged with allegedly raping and battering a 26-year-old woman in the Victor City Park on August 4, 2017.
The arrest follows a two-year rape investigation led by Detective Sergeant Andrew Foster of the Teton County Sheriff’s Office. A criminal complaint filed by Teton County Prosecuting Attorney Billie Siddoway alleges the victim resisted the rape, but she was overcome by force or violence. The complaint also alleges that Neilson inflicted great bodily injury to the victim.
On August 4, 2017, the victim returned to the Victor City Park to retrieve her bicycle after attending Music on Main when she was attacked from behind, forced to the ground, and raped by an assailant unknown to her.
According to the press release, earlier this month, Foster received an investigative lead pointing to Neilson.
With the assistance of the Idaho State Police and Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, Foster obtained a discarded DNA sample from Neilson. On August 22, 2019, the Idaho State Police Forensic Laboratory confirmed that the DNA profile from Neilson matched the profile of a DNA sample obtained following the rape.
The charge of felony rape carries a potential penalty of life in prison and a fine up to $50,000. The charge of felony battery carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison with a fine up to $50,000.
Teton Valley News will continue to update this story as more information is made available.