Hillcrest Country Club manager pleads guilty to beating employee

Editor’s note: The following article provides graphic details of alleged sexual harassment.

In July, the general manager of the Hillcrest Boys Club was charged with two felony counts after prosecutors alleged he attempted to sexually assault an employee. Now, after the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office received new evidence, Max Moreno was not sentenced to prison time.

Moreno, who has been the country club’s general manager for nearly four years, was initially charged with two felony counts: forcible entry with a foreign object and battery with intent to commit a felony, according to court records.

As part of a plea deal with the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, Moreno pleaded guilty to an Alford plea to misdemeanor battery by “intentionally” and “unlawfully” putting his hands up a woman’s skirt. An Alford plea carries the weight of a guilty plea, but means Moreno did not admit to committing the crime.

A charge of forced entry, which could have carried a life sentence, was dismissed, online court records show.

“It’s painful that your life may go back to normal after this, but my life will never be the same,” the woman said during her sentencing on October 6. The woman also called the inappropriate accusation “unfortunate”. The courts kept him anonymous.

The Hillcrest Club did not return the Statesman’s request for comment on Moreno’s employment status, though LinkedIn Moreno showed that he left the club in August – one month after the battery.

The court records detailed pleadings

The initial indictment against Moreno, reviewed by the Statesman, alleged that he grabbed the woman’s breast, put his hand down her skirt, kissed her, grabbed her arm and groped her neck in an attempt to sexually assault her.

The additional charge, which was dismissed, also alleged that Moreno inserted a finger or fingers inside the woman against her will, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.

The amended criminal complaint to which he pleaded guilty alleges Moreno “intentionally” and “unlawfully” placed his hands under the woman’s skirt.

Ada County Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Marie Sharon said at the October sentencing that Moreno’s actions were “despicable” and “inexcusable,” but Sharon did not believe Moreno would be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt after additional audio recordings of the incident were obtained. late to check. Sharon did not comment on what the records contained.

Sharon said the nearly 15-minute audio recording of the incident “provided more context for the meeting.” The recording was provided to police by the woman, but was not immediately released to prosecutors. The recording was provided to the police by the woman, along with several cut-outs, but was not immediately handed over to the prosecution.

Moreno was placed on unsupervised probation until October 2024 and sentenced to 180 days in jail, although 178 days were suspended; he was also given credit for two days already served in jail, according to a plea deal reviewed by the Statesman.

That means Moreno didn’t face any jail time.

The battery occurred on July 9 and the Boise Police Department was notified of the incident the same day, spokeswoman Haley Williams previously told the Idaho Statesman in an email. Moreno was not arrested until nearly two weeks later on July 21.

“I spent a lot of time in the bathroom because it was so hard to be around you,” the woman said during the hearing. He added that “things got a little better” when Moreno was arrested.

Moreno’s Boise attorney, Debra Groberg, asked the Ada Magistrate Judge Ellis Dean will give Moreno a suspended sentence, saying the incident was “an absolute nightmare” for Moreno. Withheld judgment means the accused a guilty plea is not recorded as a conviction until they have completed their sentence.

But Dean rejected the request, saying he was “disturbed” by what he heard in court.

Need help?

The Faces of Hope Victim Center is available for victims in need of emergency services at 417 S. 6th St. in Boise. Victims should call 911 in an emergency or 208-577-4400 during business hours on weekdays.

Faces of Hope offers free medical and forensic assistance to victims, as well as assistance with filing police and mental health reports. Survivors who may need help are also encouraged to contact the Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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