CALDWELL — A former nurse at a juvenile detention center in Nampa will proceed to trial on charges that she sexually abused incarcerated boys.
A judge shot down a plea deal Tuesday that would have dismissed the sex charges against 41-year-old Valerie Lieteau in exchange for a guilty plea to aggravated assault. Under that deal, Lieteau would have faced a maximum sentence of five years, and avoided registering as a sex offender.
But Judge Christopher Nye rejected the agreement, allowing Lieteau to withdraw the guilty plea to aggravated assault she entered in March.
The defendant will now go forward to a trial on the original charges of two counts of sexual battery on a minor and two counts of sexual contact with a juvenile inmate.
If convicted, she could face up to life in prison.
Prosecutors say the former nurse had sex with three boys who were held at the Nampa juvenile facility between 2008 and 2011. She was arrested in California in June 2015 and extradited back to Idaho to face charges.
A lawyer for the boys’ families, who says there were more underage victims, wrote in a tort claim that Lieteau gave the victims prescription medication and street drugs. According to attorney Bruce Skaug, Lieteau on one occasion had sex with a 15-year-old in the nurse's office while another employee acted as a lookout.
She’s also accused of making trips to the hometown of one of the teens to continue having sex with him after his release from the corrections facility.
According to a tort claim, the victims tried to alert the facility’s director about what was going on, but were ignored.
At least 10 youths have have come forward since 2014 claiming they were sexually abused at the Nampa detention center. Lieteau is one of several female staffers accused of having inappropriate relationships with underage inmates.
Her trial is set to begin Oct. 24.