Hailey resident Jacob Scott Anderson, 26, was sentenced to a retained jurisdiction program, also known as a “rider,” following a change of plea in April when he pleaded guilty to an amended felony charge of injury to a child, in exchange for dismissal of three charges of rape.

    Anderson was arrested in September by the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office after a joint investigation with the Hailey Police Department of an allegation that he had been sexually involved with a 15-year-old girl since the middle of July 2018, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

    At a sentencing hearing Monday, prosecutor Matt Fredback said Anderson became friends with a group of females last fall and “selected the youngest and probably most vulnerable in the group” to start a sexual relationship with.

    “According to [the victim] their relationship was strictly sexual,” Fredback said.

    At the time, Anderson was 25, 10 years older than his sexual partner. Fredback told the court on Monday that Anderson did not accept blame for the situation, but rather considered himself a victim and viewed the illegal relationship as a “wonderful” relationship with someone who needed him as much as he needed her.

    This is not Anderson’s first encounter with the law, and also not his first time being in a relationship with a minor. According to Fredback, Anderson previously had a relationship with a 16-year-old when he was 19.

    “He tends to see himself every single time as someone who is being wronged by someone else,” Fredback said, adding that Anderson always believed he was the victim and that the world was against him.

     Anderson’s defense attorney, Peggy Boggs, said her client has had trouble all his life succeeding as an adult and that he clearly needs therapy and rehabilitation.

    “I know that it was wrong. I know that what I did was wrong,” Anderson said through tears before sentencing Monday.

    According to a probable-cause affidavit written by Blaine County Sheriff’s Detective Kristen Quinton, she received a report from the Hailey Police Department about a possible rape that occurred in Slaughterhouse Canyon near Bellevue.

    When authorities spoke with the alleged victim, she said the relationship had started because “he made her feel special because he would leave work just to see her and pick her up from work and school,” but looking back on the situation, “she thinks he took advantage of her” on the day they first had intercourse because “she was having a really bad day,” according to the affidavit.

    “There’s this obvious power and age imbalance,” Fredback said Monday, adding that Anderson had begun grooming the victim by buying her gifts and speaking negatively about her father.