Evidence of sexual assault

Idaho officials: 12-year-old stabbing victim was assaulted

Idaho officials have confirmed that a 12-year-old girl who was stabbed by her father and left for dead in the Idaho wilderness last month also was sexually assaulted.

Shoshone County Sheriff Chuck Reynalds said his office received notification this week that the girl was sexually assaulted. Her father, John Rollins Tuggle, who recently lived in Hayden, is the only suspect.

Tuggle, 37, a registered sex offender from Hayden, is ac--cused of stabbing his daughter several times with a pocketknife and leaving her July 20 in a remote area about 35 miles north of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Tuggle was taken into custody July 27 after a convenience store clerk in Wallace, Idaho, recognized him.

Tuggle now may face sexual assault charges.

On Thursday, Tuggle waived his right to a preliminary hearing, which means the attempted murder case against him will proceed directly to District Court.

Reynalds said his office is busy gathering evidence. In--vestigators are searching for the weapon used in the stabbing in the areas where the incident occurred and where Tuggle was arrested.

"We've got guys out every afternoon searching for his campsite, a backpack and the knife," he said.

Reynalds said Tuggle's campsite is thought to be about three miles from where the incident took place. That's where deputies are concentrating their efforts.

Any new sexual assault charges would have to be filed within 14 days. If they are, Tuggle will have to appear in court again on the separate charges and again may choose to waive his preliminary hearing.

Tuggle is being held in solitary confinement in the Shoshone County Public Safety Building on a $10 million bond. Reynalds said he still is refusing to speak with officials.

Tuggle's daughter was rel-eased from the Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., last weekend, and Rey-nalds said that she is living like a recluse at her home in Athol, Idaho, with her mother.

"Physically, she is doing well, but she has a lot of issues mentally," he said.

Reynalds said the girl was very cooperative with authorities and gave them all the information they needed. She no longer is being questioned about the case.

--To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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