Lakeside man makes Alford plea in rape case

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A Lakeside man admitted July 13 by way of Alford plea to the statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl whom he allegedly met online and took to his trailer after meeting her in person.

Joshua Michael Edmiston, 28, pleaded guilty to one charge of felony sexual intercourse without consent via Alford plea in Flathead District Court following a plea agreement with the prosecution. An Alford plea is one in which a defendant in a criminal case does not admit to the crime and asserts innocence.

According to court documents, the victim, identified as B.N., said during an interview that she had sex with a man she identified as Edmiston. She told authorities they met on Facebook in early January 2016 and later agreed to meet in person.

That meeting allegedly resulted in Edmiston driving the teen to his camper at his mother’s residence in Lakeside, where B.N. said the two smoked marijuana.

While sitting on Edmiston’s bed, the girl alleged he put his fingers inside her, took off her clothes and had sex with her.

The girl told officers she stopped seeing Edmiston after that encounter because “he became violent with her.”

Though Edmiston maintained his innocence, he indicated that he understood the evidence provided by the state in the case likely would be enough to convict him, should the case go to trial.

He is scheduled to stand trial in November. If convicted, Edmiston could face up to life in prison and a maximum $50,000 fine.

Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or mtaylor@dailyinterlake.com.

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