POCATELLO — A transient named Pirate with a face covered in Polynesian-style tattoos recently had multiple felony charges reduced to misdemeanors for allegedly burning a Downey woman with a lit cigarette, ashing in her mouth and gagging her with his foot, according to court records.
Pirate, a 43-year-old man who legally changed his name in 2013 from Daniel Lloyd Selovich, initially faced two counts of felony aggravated battery, two counts of misdemeanor battery and a felony enhancement for being a persistent violator for the Nov. 9, 2020, incident involving the Downey woman, the Idaho State Journal reported last year. Pirate was arrested at the Chubbuck Walmart on Nov. 11, 2020.
Pirate, who’s represented by Pocatello attorney Stratton Laggis, reached a plea agreement with Bannock County prosecutors in November that resulted in prosecutors dismissing all the felony charges against him on the condition that he plead guilty to the two misdemeanor battery charges, according to court records.
The plea agreement, signed by all parties on Nov. 4, states that Pirate shall receive credit for all jail time served, that he be released from jail at the time of sentencing and that Laggis and Bannock County Prosecutors are free to argue any sentencing recommendations.
The maximum possible penalty for a misdemeanor battery charge in Idaho so long as the victim is not a pregnant woman is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. As of Tuesday, Pirate has been incarcerated at the Bannock County Jail in Pocatello for over one year. This means that even if the sentencing judge imposes the maximum possible jail time and orders Pirate to serve the sentences consecutively — one after another — that Pirate has already served more jail time than can be ordered.
Bannock County Prosecutor Steve Herzog told the Journal Tuesday that, “As the case progressed the facts and circumstances changed somewhat and at the end of the day the offenses were more adequately addressed by the filing of misdemeanor charges.”
Pirate attracted the attention of local authorities after it was reported to the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office that he had physically assaulted a Downey woman on Nov. 9, 2020, after meeting her via an online dating app, according to Sheriff’s Office reports the Idaho State Journal obtained last year.
When sheriff’s deputies responded to the woman’s Downey home to interview her, she provided them with a verbal explanation of what happened but did not make a written statement and initially declined to press charges against Pirate, deputies said.
On Nov. 10, 2020, the Downey woman contacted authorities to explain that she had changed her mind and wanted to pursue charges against Pirate, the Sheriff’s Office reported. A deputy then went to her home to take a written statement and photograph her injuries.
According to the woman’s written statement, Pirate arrived at her Downey home around 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2020, after the woman agreed he could stay at her residence for a few days via messages on the online dating app.
The woman said in her statement that when she and Pirate went to her bedroom, he bit her lip hard enough to make her cry and also bit her neck, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The woman also said Pirate made her open her mouth so that he could ash his cigarette into her mouth, something he took pictures of, authorities said. Around 3:45 a.m., “Pirate inserted his foot into her mouth and held her head with his hands so that she could not get away,” deputies reported, adding that Pirate also photographed this interaction.
Pirate used his fingernail to scratch the inside of the woman’s cheek and to scratch about 6 inches down the center of her back and he burned her four times on the stomach and upper back, the woman wrote in her statement to deputies.
The woman told deputies she was reluctant to come forward for fear that Pirate would attempt to retaliate against her, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Sheriff’s deputies located and arrested Pirate on Nov. 11, 2020, at the Walmart in Chubbuck.
Pirate is due back in court on Jan. 4, 2022, to officially plead guilty to the misdemeanor battery charges and be sentenced.