Police: Man committed lewd act in Meridian hotel

MERIDIAN, ID - An Ontario, Oregon man has been arrested after Meridian Police say he inappropriately touched himself in front of an underage female he did not know.

It happened about 9 a.m. Wednesday at a hotel in the 1000 block of South Progress Avenue, according to Meridian Police Lt. Shawn Harper.

Witnesses told officers they saw a man who, while encountering a juvenile girl in one of the hotel’s hallways, reached down his pants and began touching himself. The girl was under the age of sixteen.

Police later identified the suspect as Jeffery Bucklew, 28, of Ontario. He was arrested for attempted sexual abuse of a minor, a felony.

“Even though he was (allegedly) touching himself under his clothing, committing such an act that was witnessed by a minor, still falls under the State code of sexual abuse of a minor,” Harper explained.

Investigators say Bucklew did not have physical contact with the girl.

The girl was staying at the hotel with her parents at the time.

During their investigation, officers say they found a small amount of methamphetamine in the hotel room Bucklew was renting. “The substance was readily accessible to a 2-year-old who was also in the room,” Harper said.

Police say Bucklew and the toddler’s mother know each other.  “However, the mother’s whereabouts are unknown, so the child has been placed into the temporary custody of the State Health and Welfare Department,” Harper stated.

In addition to attempted sexual abuse of a minor, Bucklew was booked into the Ada County Jail for felony injury to a child (for reportedly having illegal drugs in the presence of the toddler), felony possession of a controlled substance, and a misdemeanor of possessing drug paraphernalia.

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