police

A Rigby man has been charged after he reportedly manipulated a mentally disabled person into performing sex acts and raped the victim multiple times on Feb. 26.

Swade James Tullis, 21, came under investigation after the victim’s father told police about the encounter. The victim reportedly functions on the level of a child between the ages of 3 and 6 years old.

The probable cause affidavit describes the sexual abuse in gruesome detail. The affidavit states the victim believes everyone they meet is their friend, says that they are prone to manipulation and abuse, and indicates that they do not realize others may intend to harm them.

During a forensic interview, the victim explained that Tullis had sexually assaulted them multiple times when they did not want to have sex. They described the sex acts to the interviewer and said they had suffered physical pain as a result of the rapes. These incidents reportedly happened at Tullis’ apartment.

The affidavit states a sexual assault nurse examiner learned from the victim that Tullis had contacted the victim by their phone and asked the victim to come to his apartment. The nurse’s report described evidence of rape discovered during the examination and explained that the victim was suffering from severe pain and medical issues as a result.

The victim’s father told police he confronted Tullis about the sexual assault. Tullis apologized and claimed the incidents were consensual. The father told police there was a previous sexual encounter between Tullis and the victim in 2016, but that he had not reported it to law enforcement.

The Rigby Police Department obtained a search warrant for Tullis’ residence, taking computers, smartphones and other digital devices. Several items of sexual paraphernalia described by the victim were found in the apartment, in the bathroom where the victim remembered Tullis stored them.

Police interviewed Tullis with his parents on March 23. According to the affidavit, Tullis’ mother immediately stated her son had the mental capabilities of a child between the ages of 6 and 11. The officer expressed skepticism of the statement in the affidavit, saying he had interacted with Tullis in the past and did not see signs of mental disability in his behavior.

After arriving for the interview, Tullis said he wanted a lawyer and would not speak with police further.

The officer learned from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office that Tullis was under investigation for a separate incident. According to the affidavit, the sheriff’s office received a report that Tullis had used a Twitter account to pose as a 16-year-old girl requesting sexual favors and claiming to have a sexual video of a 14-year-old girl to sell.

Tullis was arraigned March 31 for sexually abusing a vulnerable adult, punishable with up to 15 years in prison, and forcible penetration by use of a foreign object where the victim is unable to consent, punishable with up to life in prison.

Tullis was released to pretrial supervision on April 1. A no-contact order was issued between him and the victim.

A probable cause affidavit is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 8 in the Jefferson County Courthouse.