Nampa Dispatch received a 911 call in the early morning hours of January 16, 2022, from a panicked family member reporting a rape that had just occurred with the known suspect still on scene. Nampa Police Officers were dispatched, located the suspect and after a short vehicle pursuit, he was stopped and taken into custody without further incident.
The suspect, identified as 54-year-old, Saul Pina-Melchor, of Nampa, was arrested for rape (IC 18-6101) and transported to the Canyon County Jail.
On January 18, 2022, Pina-Melchor, was charged with the crime of rape, and subsequently indicted on the same charge. At the conclusion of a three-day jury trial on November 10, 2022, after hearing the testimony of the victim, multiple witnesses, and law enforcement, a Canyon County jury convicted the defendant on the charge of attempted rape. At the time of conviction, the court ordered the defendant to obtain a psychosexual evaluation and for a presentence investigation to be completed. At the time of sentencing on December 22, 2022, the defendant had not complied with either court order.
Canyon County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Virginia Bond argued that the defendant should be sentenced to a period of incarceration of 13 years fixed followed by two (2) years of indeterminate incarceration. The Canyon County Public Defender’s Office argued that the defendant should be sentenced to three (3) years of fixed incarceration. The victim and other family members also gave a victim impact statement that outlined the impact this event has had on her life.
Canyon County District Judge Matthew Roker subsequently sentenced the defendant to a period of three (3) years fixed, up to five (5) years indeterminate, and retained jurisdiction of up to 365 days.
The defendant also has an immigration hold and has prior misdemeanor convictions out of state.
The Idaho Department of Corrections website describes a rider as: “Retained jurisdiction, often called a rider, is a sentencing option available to judges in Idaho. Clients sentenced to a rider are incarcerated in an IDOC facility but are under the judge's jurisdiction as they receive treatment and programming. Sentencing judges can place the resident on probation upon successful completion of the rider, or they can relinquish jurisdiction and sentence them to prison based on their behavior and progress during the retained jurisdiction period.”
Chief Joe Huff said, “Once again, even after nearly 30 years of service as a Nampa Police Officer, I am shocked and frustrated at the decision to place this man on a rider. Pina-Melchor’s victim and family deserve better."