HAYDEN, Idaho — Last week, a decision handed down by the Idaho Supreme Court that requires police to witness or obtain a warrant before making an arrest for misdemeanor-level crimes led to outcry from victim advocates.
Many advocates voiced concern that it could endanger victim's in domestic violence cases.
"I've been doing this work for quite some time and it just felt like it was taking us back in time when we received the information [of the ruling]," said Chauntelle Lieske, Executive Director of victim advocate group Safe Passage.
The ruling stems from an appeal by 44-year-old Peter Clarke of Hayden. According to court documents, Clarke was arrested in 2016 on drug and battery charges after a mother in her mid-30s told a Kootenai County Sheriff's deputy that Clarke allegedly wouldn't leave her and her child alone and that he was calling her attractive.
According to the documents, she also said that after this, Clarke allegedly grabbed her rear-end twice, which she told him to stop doing. The victim then said that Clarke allegedly asked her to call his cell phone because he had lost it, which she did before leaving, according to the court documents.
But the woman alleged that Clarke later sent her an offensive text message that she deleted, according to the documents.
Clarke told a responding deputy that he had grabbed the woman's rear-end twice, but that he thought it was consensual, according to documents. He also said he had texted the woman after she gave him her number, court documents said.
The deputy wrote that he arrested Clarke for misdemeanor battery based on both of their statements. During the arrest, the deputy wrote that he found methamphetamine and marijuana in Clarke's backpack, leading to the drug charges.
Clarke would go on to appeal the charges, arguing that the arrest violated the Idaho constitution because the deputy did not witness the battery.
Last week, the Idaho Supreme Court agreed with Clarke.
Clarke was unable to be reached for comment.