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Lincoln County sheriff resigns after being charged with rape and lewd conduct

Rene Rodriguez appeared in court on Monday, facing seven charges from four counties, spanning from 2005 to 2014.

SHOSHONE, Idaho — Lincoln County Sheriff Rene Rodriguez resigned on Monday afternoon after being charged with rape, sexual abuse of a child under 16, and lewd conduct.

Rodriguez, 40, of Shoshone, was arrested on Friday by Idaho State Police and booked into the Blaine County Jail.

Lincoln County Commissioner Rebecca Wood says the county commissioners received his letter of resignation during a special commission meeting. They planned one deciding what their next would be on how to handle Rodriguez's charges during the meeting.

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While the meeting was going on, Rodriguez made his first appearance in the Blaine County Courthouse. He was charged with seven felonies, spanning from 2005 to 2014, in four different counties.

The charges include one count of sexual abuse of a child in Jerome County, four counts of lewd conduct with a child in Twin Falls and Blaine counties and two counts of rape in Lincoln and Blaine counties.

His attorney, Michael Wood, wanted to make an argument to lower the bond but that was denied by the judge.

"The bond was set by a district judge who had a full consideration of the facts in this matter bond was set in the amount of 500,000 and this court will confirm that setting," Judge Jennifer Haemmerle said.

If convicted, Rodriguez will have to register as a sex offender and faces up to life in prison for each rape and lewd conduct charge and up to 25 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a child charge.

He is due in court next Monday and scheduled to appear in front of a district judge.

Commissioner Wood says a committee has 15 days to present three qualified candidates to fill the county sheriff position.

"We will do our best to see to it that we have another acting sheriff in place in a very timely manner and we will try to put our best foot forward and we will try and make sure that the future goes better for us in Lincoln County," she said.

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