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Former Idaho GOP Chair Jonathan Parker Arrested On Stalking Charge

Idaho Republican Party/Ada County Sheriff's Office

Jonathan Parker, the former chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, has been arrested on a felony first-degree stalking charge.

Parker was booked Thursday night into the Ada County Jail by Boise Police.

According to court records, police say Parker repeatedly disguised himself with a wig and masturbated while hiding in bushes near his wife’s apartment complex.

His wife, Kelly Parker, filed for divorce from him in March. A temporary restraining order relating to children and property was issued, but a judge ordered all records in the case sealed earlier this month.

Parker repeatedly shook his head from side to side during his video arraignment.

His lawyer, former attorney general and congressional candidate David Leroy called the situation a “grand misunderstanding.”

Leroy argued Parker was going to a costume party and was peering through windows to scare a different woman.

“[Parker] owns his own public affairs business and needs to attend to it on a daily basis,” Leroy said, saying bond should be set at $5,000.

A judge set bond at $80,000 and issued another no-contact order. Parker cannot be within 500 feet of his estranged wife.

Parker left his position with the Idaho Republican Party in February. He had been chairman since 2017. Previously, he served as executive director for the state GOP and was a staffer to former Congressman Bill Sali.

In a letter explaining his departure, he wrote, “Serving as your Chairman, while maintaining a full-time job and being a fully engaged Father has been harder than I imagined, so much so that I have reluctantly decided that I should no longer continue to serve as Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party so that I can focus on the priorities I place above all others.”

John T. Schroeder, a lawyer representing Parker in his divorce, answered calls from Boise State Public Radio but twice hung up when asked about the restraining orders.

Idaho Republican Party executive director Frank Terraferma didn't return a request for comment.

Parker could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. His next court date is set for June 14.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!