Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on online at www.tetonvalleynews.net.
Chet K. Neilson pled guilty last Tuesday morning of felony rape after a court mediation netted a plea agreement for the 31-year-old St. Anthony man.
Neilson was charged with the rape and battery of a 26-year-old woman in the Victor City Park on Aug. 4, 2017. A criminal complaint filed by Teton County Prosecuting Attorney Billie Siddoway alleged 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.
Last Tuesday, Neilson told District Court Judge Steven Boyce that he was guilty of felony rape, a charge that could carry up to life in prison, a $50,000 fine and restitution for the victim. Neilson will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
In exchange for the guilty plea, the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office will drop the two additional charges of inflicting great bodily harm and intent to commit a serious crime.
Judge Boyce ordered Neilson to complete a psycho-sexual evaluation prior to sentencing in December. That sentencing has been set for Dec. 17 at the Teton County Courthouse at 10:30 a.m.
In August, Teton County Investigator Andrew 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 Aug. 22 the Idaho State Police Forensic Laboratory confirmed that the DNA profile from Neilson matched the profile of a DNA sample obtained following the rape.
A warrant was then issued for Neilson’s arrest.
Neilson worked at a local company in Teton County. He was arrested by Deputy Andrew Sewell just north of Driggs and did not post the $250,000 bond that was set at his arraignment.