Former ‘American Idol’ Finalist Arrested for Sex with a Minor, Four Total Charges

by Amy Myers

A 2018 American Idol finalist is making headlines, but not for the right reasons. Former contestant Ron Bultongez from Grapevine, Texas is facing multiple counts of sex with a minor after he turned himself in to the police on July 15th.

While the details on the allegations are not yet concrete, TMZ reports that Bultongez’s current charges are four counts of sexual penetration with a minor under the age of 17 on four separate occasions. The crimes likely occurred between December last year and February 2021. Currently, the former American Idol currently awaits his first trial date and has since posted his bond of $50,000.

Before his recent appearance in newspapers, Bultongez impressed the American Idol judges with his emotional performances. Here’s a look back at his career on the talent competition before returning to Texas.

Contestant Left the Congo to Live the ‘American Dream’

American Idol fans had high hopes for contestant Ron Bultongez. When he first appeared on the audition stage with his guitar before Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry, he sang a gorgeous rendition of “Let it Go” by James Bay.

The American Idol contestant shared that he grew up in the Congo, but left to come to the United States. He had with him his baby boy, James, and the mother of his child.

“Something about you is pretty daggum inspiring buddy,” Bryan told him.

His raw talent had Bryan’s vote. However, the other two judges felt they didn’t know who he was as a singer yet. Richie asked Bultongez to come back and try again but with his own identity behind the music. But the former Commodores member couldn’t get the contestant off his mind. So, when Bultongez returned before the American Idol judges, Richie changed his vote to a “yes.”

Bultongez Shares He ‘Didn’t Have a Home For a Long Time’ with ‘American Idol’ Judges

As Ron Bultongez’s journey through American Idol continued, we learned that not only was he a talented singer, musician, father and Congo refugee, but he was also the new guardian of his two younger brothers.

“They were in a pretty bad situation,” Bultongez explained on the show. “And so, I decided to step up and be the man and the brother that they needed in their lives.”

Before his performance in Episode 7 of the season, the American Idol contestant shared why he chose the song “Home” by Phillip Phillips.

“I didn’t have a home for a long time,” Bultongez said on stage. “And what I’ve learned is that the thing about a home is that it’s created by the people you surround yourself with.”

Ron Bultongez made it to the Top 24 before he was eliminated.