Man released on bond amid new charges

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Forker

SANDPOINT — A Sagle man arrested Thursday on child sex abuse and pornography charges posted a $50,000 surety bond to secure his pretrial release, court records show.

Michael Henry Forker’s bond posting clears the way for an initial appearance in Bonner County Magistrate Court on May 26. Forker is charged with two counts of sexual battery of a minor between the ages of 16-17 and sexual exploitation of a child.

Forker is accused of committing the sexual battery via lewd and lascivious conduct with a 17-year-old this spring, according to a criminal complaint in the case. He’s further accused of taking a photo of the teen’s genitalia.

Further details about the allegations were hard to come by on Friday. A probable cause affidavit, in which a sheriff’s detective outlined the allegations was not on file, nor were minutes from a probable cause hearing in which Judge John Patrick Luster found a basis for the charges to be filed.

When such information is redacted, it can mean that the investigation is still ongoing and that additional charges or alleged victims could be forthcoming.

Bonner County sheriff’s officials said on Thursday that they believed that Forker had been communicating with other underage children over the internet. Those with information about Forker are urged to report it by calling 208-255-TIPS.

Forker is a 39-year-old registered sex offender who resides at 138 Smokehouse Road, according to Idaho State Police. Forker was ordered to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to 10 counts of encouraging sexual abuse in Washington County, Ore., in 2009. Forker was working at a shelter for runaway teens in Portland when he was suspected of luring children to his home and sexually abusing them, a news story published by the Oregonian said.

Detectives searched his home in Aloha, Ore., and uncovered evidence of child pornography, the newspaper report said. The digital evidence was suppressed prior to trial, although that ruling was overturned on appeal and Forker ultimately admitted his guilt.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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