On April 13, Teton County prosecuting attorney Bailey Smith initiated a new case against Ryan Richard Berry, charging that the Tetonia resident had intentionally destroyed evidence after allegedly committing rape.
In February of 2018, Berry was arrested on charges of felony rape, false imprisonment, misdemeanor battery, and giving alcohol to someone under 21. He was later charged with video voyeurism after images and a video were found on his phone and computer.
The new criminal complaint asserts that on the night or early morning of the alleged rape, Berry knowingly destroyed or tried to destroy evidence of the crime by bathing the victim, laundering her clothes and his bedding, cleaning surfaces touched by the victim, and attempting to prevent the victim from leaving and encouraging her to drink water until chemical substances he had provided her had left her system.
Destruction of evidence of a felony offense is itself a felony and carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
In June of 2018, Berry pleaded not guilty to the original charges. Before the pandemic, his trial was delayed several times for different reasons including scheduling conflicts and failure to reach a plea agreement. Then through most of 2020 trials in Idaho could not be held due to Covid. After a second attempt to reach resolution early this year failed, a 2019 plea offer was revoked and the previously-dropped charges were reinstated, as well as a new charge of petit theft and a second count of misdemeanor battery.
Most recently, the trial was scheduled for mid-March of this year, but Smith requested that it be postponed again so that she could file the additional felony charge. The week-long jury trial is now scheduled to begin on May 24. Jim Archibald of Idaho Falls is representing Berry. Judge Steven Boyce is the presiding judicial officer. The victim has a no contact order against Berry.