GREAT FALLS – The Montana Department of Justice amended charges against former Valley County Undersheriff Luke Strommen on December 26 by adding a charge for felony sexual intercourse without consent, according to the Glasgow Courier.
Amended court documents state the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was contacted in November 2018 regarding an additional victim of sexual offense alleged to have been committed by Strommen.
The victim indicated her first sexual contact with Strommen was in a hotel room in Great Falls when she was 14-years-old.
The victim stated the sexual relationship progressed and lasted until she moved from the area two years later. She also told investigators that Strommen had intercourse with her over 50 times, with most of the encounters occurring in Strommen’s Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle.
As a result of the additional charges, Strommen is to have no contact with any person under the age of 18 years old, not frequent places where children congregate including schools, parks, playgrounds, cannot access the Internet via computer or smartphone and have no contact with witnesses, among others.
The Glasgow Courier reports that after Strommen’s first court appearance on October 16, he was released on conditions including he could not be at a public forum where children were present without the accompaniment of his wife or another adult. He was also able to utilize the Internet on a family device as long as the device he was using was available to law enforcement for viewing.
Strommen has already been charged with the offense of sexual abuse of a child, a felony, as a result of allegations of improprieties of a sexual nature with a 17-year-old victim four years ago. Strommen pleaded not guilty to that charge in District Court on October 16.
He is set to appear in District Court on Monday, January 14 at 1:30 p.m. to answer to the additional charges.
- More charges filed in former Valley County undersheriff’s case
- Deputy charged with felony sexual abuse in Valley County
NOTE: “Sexual intercourse without consent” is the legal term in Montana for what is commonly referred to as rape, according to Montana Code:
45-5-503. Sexual intercourse without consent. (1) A person who knowingly has sexual intercourse with another person without consent or with another person who is incapable of consent commits the offense of sexual intercourse without consent. A person may not be convicted under this section based on the age of the person’s spouse, as provided in 45-5-501(1)(b)(iv).
(2) A person convicted of sexual intercourse without consent shall be punished by life imprisonment or by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not more than 20 years and may be fined not more than $50,000, except as provided in 46-18-219, 46-18-222, and subsections (3), (4), and (5) of this section.
(3) (a) If the victim is less than 16 years old and the offender is 4 or more years older than the victim or if the offender inflicts bodily injury on anyone in the course of committing sexual intercourse without consent, the offender shall be punished by life imprisonment or by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than 4 years or more than 100 years and may be fined not more than $50,000, except as provided in 46-18-219 and 46-18-222.
(b) If two or more persons are convicted of sexual intercourse without consent with the same victim in an incident in which each offender was present at the location where another offender’s offense occurred during a time period in which each offender could have reasonably known of the other’s offense, each offender shall be punished by life imprisonment or by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than 5 years or more than 100 years and may be fined not more than $50,000, except as provided in 46-18-219 and 46-18-222.
(c) If the offender was previously convicted of an offense under this section or of an offense under the laws of another state or of the United States that if committed in this state would be an offense under this section and if the offender inflicted serious bodily injury on a person in the course of committing each offense, the offender shall be:
(ii) punished as provided in 46-18-219.
(4) (a) If the victim was 12 years of age or younger and the offender in the course of committing a violation of this section was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense, the offender:
(i) shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for a term of 100 years. The court may not suspend execution or defer imposition of the first 10 years of a sentence of imprisonment imposed under this subsection (4)(a)(i) except as provided in 46-18-222(1) through (5), and during the first 10 years of imprisonment, the offender is not eligible for parole. The exception provided in 46-18-222(6) does not apply.
(ii) may be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000; and
(iii) shall be ordered to enroll in and successfully complete the educational phase and the cognitive and behavioral phase of a sexual offender treatment program provided or approved by the department of corrections.
(b) If the offender is released after the mandatory minimum period of imprisonment, the offender is subject to supervision by the department of corrections for the remainder of the offender’s life and shall participate in the program for continuous, satellite-based monitoring provided for in 46-23-1010.
(5) If the victim is at least 14 years of age and the offender is 18 years of age or younger, the offender may be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not more than 5 years and may be fined not more than $10,000 if:
(a) the offender has not previously been found to have committed or been adjudicated for a sexual offense as defined in 46-23-502;
(b) a psychosexual evaluation of the offender has been prepared and the court finds that registration is not necessary for protection of the public and that relief from registration is in the public’s best interest; and
(c) the court finds that the alleged conduct was consensual as indicated by words or overt actions indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
(6) In addition to any sentence imposed under subsection (2) or (3), after determining the financial resources and future ability of the offender to pay restitution as required by 46-18-242, the court shall require the offender, if able, to pay the victim’s reasonable medical and counseling costs that result from the offense. The amount, method, and time of payment must be determined in the same manner as provided for in 46-18-244.
(7) As used in subsections (3) and (4), an act “in the course of committing sexual intercourse without consent” includes an attempt to commit the offense or the act of flight after the attempt or commission.
(8) If as a result of sexual intercourse without consent a child is born, the offender who has been convicted of an offense under this section and who is the biological parent of the child resulting from the sexual intercourse without consent forfeits all parental and custodial rights to the child if the provisions of 46-1-401 have been followed.