A Rexburg man who attempted to solicit sex from a 15-year-old boy was sentenced to probation Monday.
Clark Allen Poston, 28, was arrested in November, a year after the solicitation occurred. The victim’s mother reported the contact to police in October. Her son had kept screenshots of some of the messages Poston sent him, including one where Poston offers money for sex.
Poston originally was charged with enticing a child through the internet. It was reduced to felony injury to a child as part of a plea bargain.
Both Defense Attorney Rocky Wixom and Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey agreed Poston’s case had several mitigating factors. The sex he tried to solicit never happened, and Poston has no criminal history. Wixom said his client had kept in touch regularly to make sure he was complying with the terms of his release. A psychosexual evaluation determined Poston was an average risk to reoffend.
The attorneys both recommended probation. Dewey cited Poston’s clean polygraph as a factor in his recommendation. He asked the judge for a longer probation period, citing the seriousness of the crime.
Poston apologized to the court, saying he wanted to get his life in order. He said he regretted the harm he caused the victim and his family.
“I’ve never done anything wrong,” Poston said. “I guess you could say this has been a wake-up call to me.”
District Judge Dane Watkins Jr. sentenced Poston to eight years of probation with an underlying sentence of two to nine years in prison.
Watkins said the sentence would be different if Poston had engaged in sexual contact with the victim, saying a minor cannot make the choice of whether to have sex.
“You were the adult; you need to be held accountable for that,” Watkins said.
Poston also must serve 19 days in jail under work release. Watkins ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and serve 125 hours of community service.