I recently received an email from Grant Loebs, the Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney who is handling the Idaho Muslim migrant rape case about which I wrote here. Loebs and others in the case have come under heavy fire for what appear to be actions to protect the Muslim migrant attackers. In this email exchange, Loebs responds to some of the key allegations.
Here is Loebs’ initial email to me:
To whom it may concern at Pamela Geller.com:
Your service has devoted a lot of stories lately to the incident in Twin Falls Idaho involving the 5-year-old girl. Much of what has appeared has been inaccurate. Many whom your stories have disparaged are hard-working people doing their jobs and dedicated to making their community a better place. As a result of the largely inaccurate reporting, many of these people are being subjected to vicious attacks and threats.
I do NOT say this to attack you. Far from it. . . I know you and your reporters are not able to be everywhere. I know you must rely on local sources. The problem is that these sources are often people with local axes to grind and are not always reliable.
I’m hoping, however, that you have the time to check out the facts in this story. I am reaching out to let you know I am available to talk to your reporters–as far as I am able–about this case so that you can have a better understanding of this situation.
I’d be happy to talk with you by phone anytime.
Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney
Dear Mr. Loebs:
Thank you for your message. Obviously a perusal of what I have written about this case establishes that I never called on anyone to make any threats; nor do I condone them.
A few questions:
- The eyewitness says that there were three attackers. We know that two were arrested. Was the third? If not, why not?
- The building manager says that the attackers’ families have been evicted. People on the scene, however, maintain that one of the attackers’ families remains. Have all the attackers’ families been evicted? If not, why not?
- Where have these evicted families (or evicted family) gone? Have their new neighbors been notified of their behavior and warned to keep their children safely away from them? If not, why not?
- The attackers who were arrested were released shortly thereafter. Have they been charged? If not, will they be?
- Why can’t the victim’s family have access to their own child’s medical records?
Here are Loebs’ answers to my questions:
Thank you for your reply.
I do not at all mean to imply that you are encouraging or condoning the threats. Quite the opposite. I knew you’d be concerned about that. Thanks for responding.
- All three were charged. The older two (14 & 10) were arrested. Idaho law does not allow the detention of anyone or under 10 without a special order by a judge. The third offender (7) was charged and brought before a judge for an arraignment, but not technically arrested.
- As far as I know, and bear in mind my office has no control over the apartment complex’s eviction procedures, the family of the 14 and 10 year old brothers was evicted. I don’t know all the reasons for the eviction. The family of the 7 year-old was not evicted as far as I know. I do not know the reasons for this. Again, neither law enforcement nor my office nor the judge has any authority over this process.
- As a condition of their release the two older offenders were released to live with their parents and another family at another location. The judge’s order sealing the case prevents any information about this placement to be released. They are being supervised by the Department of Juvenile Probation to insure that they are not a threat to anyone else. We have received no complaints about any further illegal or questionable activity. We are closely monitoring this. Any violation will result in my office filing a motion to re-arrest them.
- All three offenses have been charged with very serious offenses under the Idaho Criminal Code and under Idaho’s Juvenile Corrections Act.
- My office has no control over whether the family can access actual “medical records.” Those are kept by the hospital and we, of course, have no objection to them having full access to those records. What is most likely the issue is that they asked for police investigatory records which cannot be provided to them—or anyone else—under Idaho law while the case is active and the case is sealed. I have explained to the family, though, that they can come to my office and look at and read any files which we have on this case. The only restriction is that they cannot copy them or take them out of the office.
Thank you for your interest and for following up. Please feel free to email or call with any further questions. My office is determined to be as transparent as possible given the legal and ethical restrictions imposed by Idaho law and given the restrictions imposed by the Court in sealing the case.
Grant P. Loebs
Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney
The mainstream media eagerly propagated Loebs’ version of events. Idaho’s MagicValley.com published a fawning story about Loebs that included this: “Conspiracy websites and far-right online media have taken a particular interest in the incident, using it to stoke anti-Muslim sentiment and make a case for halting refugee resettlement.”
That kind of incendiary and irresponsible rhetoric only helps perpetuate the coverup that has characterized this case from the beginning. Here are some telling rebuttals to Loebs’ version of events, from several people who are close to the little victim’s family and deeply involved in the case:
Loebs: “Much of what has appeared has been inaccurate.”
Response: Loebs is speaking in broad terms that imply a larger field of inaccuracies than were originally reported by the community. It is the duty of journalists to communicate facts; we can expect small errors from the general population when they are left to try and disseminate information and ask questions on the occasion they don’t see proper action taken or effective media coverage. It is commendable that the community even stepped forward — remarkable considering the abuse they suffered at the hands of city council and the media smears against them.
Remember that the rape (as defined by Idaho law) occurred on June 2, 2016, and the community didn’t approach the city council until June 13, 2016 when it became apparent that little or no action had been taken. (The Idaho Criminal Code defines rape as “the penetration, however slight, of the oral, anal or vaginal opening with a penis,” which makes this a rape case.) The fact that city council had no idea that a rape even occurred demonstrates that the media failed in its duty to the public.
Loebs: “Many whom your stories have DISPARAGED are hard-working people doing their jobs and dedicated to making their community a better place.”
Response: No one knows another’s intentions. The events as they unfolded and the actions taken by people, rather than an individual’s secret motives, are what we are examining. No judgment of worth or motive is implied.
Loebs: “As a result of the largely inaccurate reporting, many of these people are being subjected to vicious attacks and threats.”
Response: Vicious attacks, not motivated by media, happened in a laundry room against a fragile little girl. That justice be served and services be provided to this child and her family is the significant issue. Threats against the family, along with suspicious or intrusive behavior, have been reported to the police department. For example, the victim’s family called 911 on July 9 around 11:30PM, terrified because their home was being hit by something. Police arrived and indicated that it was most likely bottle rockets being shot by nearby youth.
Those are the real threats. I trust that if you or your staff have also received threats, that these will receive more careful and persistent law enforcement attention than this little girl and her family have received.
As for “inaccurate reporting,” Mr. Loebs, if your local media is reporting inaccurately, you have a responsibility to address it. You have given countless interviews; the mother of the victim gave only one.
There were numerous stories challenging the victim family’s account of events, saying various aspects of the story were false, and implying that the whole thing was fabricated by anti-migrant racists (from KBOI, the Idaho Statesman, Raw Story, Spokesman.com, and many others). These were based on interviews given by officials including Loebs, led to the HOAX flag being put on the GoFundMe account that the community had begun for the victim’s family. So while Loebs’ office is responsible for Victim’s Services, it is apparent that he actually led the media to print things that were unintentionally harmful to the victim. This family has yet to receive any victim’s services at all. They don’t own a car, and still live next door to the perpetrator, who now has only a 100-foot restriction on him, rather than the original 300 yards.
Those articles are rife with unfounded claims and disparagement of hard-working people who are dedicated to making their community better, and are inaccurate in many of their claims: there is no known interview or statement to the press by people, in Loebs’ words, “whose life goal is to eliminate refugees, and thus far they have not been constrained by the truth.” There are no such people, and thus no one can either confirm or deny the “reports” that Loebs made in his numerous articles.
Loebs “implied that this case is being exploited by the local anti-refugee movement to make a political point.” One wonders what constitutes a political agenda in Twin Falls when citizens can’t step up and demand justice for a rape victim without suffering such inaccurate characterizations from a law enforcement official.
Loebs’ statements may have inspired the Obama-appointed US Attorney for Idaho, Wendy J. Olson, to make her statements that many took as a subtle threat against Idahoans and free speech.
Loebs: ”I do not at all mean to imply that you are encouraging or condoning the threats. Quite the opposite. I knew you’d be concerned about that.”
Response: You “knew” that I would be concerned that you may have seemed to “imply” that I was “encouraging or condoning the threats.” Can you explain how you came to this “knowledge”? How would you have foreknowledge of my thoughts or concerns? Does your “knowledge” imply intent?
Loebs: “All three were charged. The older two (14 & 10) were arrested. Idaho law does not allow the detention of anyone or under 10 without a special order by a judge. The third offender (7) was charged and brought before a judge for an arraignment, but not technically arrested.”
Response: The rape occurred on June 2. The arrest of two suspects occurred on June 17 or 18, four or five days after the first group of citizens addressed the uninformed and unaware city council. The Sudanese boys were in detention until June 23, when they were released and relocated to another area of Twin Falls.
The Iraqi boy, who was the only one who had physical contact with the victim, remains her next-door neighbor to this very day. He was not technically arrested. In fact, he continues to play outside with the other children in the complex.
The Idaho Statesman reported on June 20: “There were no adults involved, Loebs said, the boys didn’t have a knife, and the incident wasn’t a ‘gang-rape’ instigated by the oldest boy. ‘All those involved are juveniles, and the older one didn’t touch the victim in any way,’ Loebs said. Only one person is alleged to have touched the victim, said the prosecutor.”
Eighteen days after the rape, Loebs was confident enough to make statements to the media about who was or was not involved, who did or did not “touch” the victim, that no knife used against the victim, and that the “incident” was not a gang-rape. Was his investigation complete on June 20?
Yet isn’t it true, Mr. Loebs, that your local police department did not look for a knife, despite the report parents gave, until June 21? Isn’t it true that eyewitnesses told police that the oldest boy disappeared for a brief period of time before police arrived?
As for rape, one common definition of “gang rape” is this: “Rape of a person by several attackers acting in concert.” Three boys acting “in concert” did abduct a young girl, strip her, hold her against her will, and violate her body, even urinating on her. That doesn’t qualify as “rape of a person by several attackers acting in concert”?
The Statesman also quoted Jan Reeves, director of the Idaho Office for Refugees: “There have been periodic website postings about hundreds of Syrians coming to Idaho that have all proven to be false in the past, and this is probably just one of those attempts to try and stir up hatred and bigotry.”
Jan Reeves has no involvement in this investigation. Why are accusations of hatred and bigotry so commonly woven into the local media’s articles on this rape case? It would almost appear to be an agenda.
Loebs: “As far as I know, and bear in mind my office has no control over the apartment complex’s eviction procedures, the family of the 14 and 10 year old brothers was evicted. I don’t know all the reasons for the eviction. The family of the 7 year-old was not evicted as far as I know. Again, neither law enforcement nor my office nor the judge has any authority over this process.”
Response: Wouldn’t rape qualify someone for eviction? The victim’s family believes that both perpetrators were given eviction notices, but the Iraqi family did not move. The close proximity of victim and rapist is an unnecessary burden to the victim’s family. The victim’s advocate ought to have immediately resolved the living situation, whether it was to relocate the victim and her family or to see that an eviction notice was both served and obeyed. While Loebs’ office does not have authority over the procedure within the apartment complex, an official might have looked into this to help the victim’s family understand what was going on and why, and to speed up the eviction of the Iraqi family.
This is urgent. According to a family member of the victim, at 11:30 last Wednesday night, the mother of the Iraqi attacker was outside her house, in earnest conversation with an unidentified man. The attacker’s mother frequently pointed to the victim’s house. Thoroughly unnerved, the victim’s family fled to a hotel to sleep. This family member says that Jeff Pasadore, the Fawnbrook Apartments property manager, told the mother of the victim three days ago that this Iraqi family had been evicted on the same day that the Sudanese family was; the Iraqi family just hasn’t been willing to leave.
Loebs: “All three offenses have been charged with very serious offenses under the Idaho Criminal Code and under Idaho’s Juvenile Corrections Act.”
Response: But not rape. Why not, since rape clearly occurred, according to a witness?
Loebs: “My office has no control over whether the family can access actual “medical records.”
The family of the victim has repeatedly been denied access to their CARES medical records and 911 transcripts. Loebs’ office is aware that the mother of the victim sought repeatedly to have her 911 transcripts given to her. Even though 911 transcripts are public records in Idaho, this family was denied them; however, statements from the city and Representative Lance Clow show that they were granted access to those records. Who granted this politician access to documents that parents were denied?
Loebs: “The records in juvenile cases are generally sealed. Most citizens know and understand that juvenile cases are sealed, and that law enforcement records about ongoing cases are not released to the public. This can be frustrating when the public has a particular interest in what’s happening in a given case. But, there are good reasons for these restrictions: They protect the integrity of the case…”
Explain this hypocrisy: either the case is sealed and Loebs is inappropriately sharing information with the city and legislators, or the case records are publicly available and yet Loebs is withholding information from the parents of the victim.
The false statements continue. KIVI TV reported last Friday that “Loebs said the victim’s parents in the case have been allowed access to all of the documents, including police medical records to look through, but copies simply cannot be made. He said it is a precaution to protect the victim, the accused and the investigation.”
In fact, the victim’s family has been repeatedly denied access to all records, and until Angie Beeson of Victim Services stepped down from the case, the family was unaware that they could even look at the records. They learned that they could look at the records during a phone call from Loebs just last week; yet his office is aware that the family made repeated attempts to get records and were flatly denied.
Yet someone has supplied information to Lance Clow, who has not even spoken to the family. Clow received information that the parents have never even seen, let alone made copies of or printed articles about.
Loebs insisted: “I think, to some extent, she believes that the police and law enforcement are not doing their jobs and not treating her properly, but there is nothing in the way that this case is being handled that is anything but proper in terms of how we are handling the victim and the victim’s family.”
Improper treatment of this family may include denying them copies of public records that “someone” made available to Lance Clow, but not to the mother of the victim. Improper treatment might be speaking in a Precinct Committee Meeting and telling the audience of 35-40 officials that this family was “confused.” Improper treatment might be Angie Beeson’s neglect in offering services or informing this family what services they could have or how to acquire those services. Improper treatment might be the Prosecutor making claims that the family is receiving victim’s support when in fact they have received nothing at all to date.
Loebs said: “The victim and her family continue to be served by Victim Services officials in the Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. My office is in constant contact with the family and any and all questions they have are being answered and counseling and other services are being offered.”
Yet on July 25, 2016, the father of the victim called the State of Idaho Industrial Commission and was told once again that his application for victim services was not complete because they have not received all the information necessary to process it. So how does Loeb explain his claim that the family is “continuing to be served” by Victim Services?
Loebs also admitted that one of the perpetrators’ families was still living next door to the victims, in defiance of an eviction order. The rapist is, in fact, still living next to his victim, and only needs to yield to a 100-foot restraining order. This situation is unacceptable to Americans, and it ought to be unacceptable to Loebs as well. Yet Loebs said he “does not have any indication of the victims being harassed.”
Loebs knows that the rapist was never arrested, was never removed from his home, and plays unrestrained in the complex under supervision. “Harassment”? Yes: the victim’s family is living in fear, remaining indoors and away from the community.
This ongoing coverup is unconscionable. Loebs needs to come clean and start serving the people, not the elites. As one Twin Falls resident told the City Council when they complained of getting bad press: “Sorry you feel like you’re being attacked, but this little girl was attacked.” It’s time that Twin Falls and Idaho officials stop the politically correct nonsense and remember that fact.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.