Looking for an Out

Bar owner's lawyer hopes to have charges dismissed


Boise bar owner Ted Challenger will be heading to court at the end of July, although his lawyer believes he has evidence exonerating his client.

Challenger made his first appearance in court on June 1, appearing before Magistrate Judge James Cawthon on a felony charge of preparing a fraudulent document and two misdemeanor counts of allowing a minor to loiter in a bar.

After entering a not-guilty plea, Challenger's initial hearing was set for July 26.

Challenger, 38, who owns the Main Street Bistro, China Blue and Dirty Little Roddy's, was arrested on May 6 by Boise Police after a warrant was filed. Charges leading to the arrest were first filed by the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney's Office on March 9.

The charges stem from an incident that happened last November, when 20-year-old Ashley Picard, who was legally employed at one of Challenger's bars, was allowed on-premise during a birthday party for Challenger.

Prosecutors charge that Challenger altered a surveillance video which he gave to police officials, to cover up the presence of a minor.

Challenger and his lawyer, David Leroy, have maintained that not only did Challenger not alter the video, but that he never provided any tape to any law enforcement officer.

Leroy said he is talking to the surveillance system manufacturer, as well as the company that installed the system, to gather as much information as possible. He holds that it is technically impossible to alter the surveillance video. Leroy said he hopes to meet informally with prosecutors prior to the initial hearing date to present his evidence and, hopefully, have the charges dismissed.