NewsCrime and Courts


Lockwood school trustee resigns following arrest on sex crime charges

Borgstrom, Joseph.bmp
Posted at 3:22 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 17:23:37-04

BILLINGS - A Lockwood school board trustee is behind bars in Yellowstone County charged with felony rape and sexual assault.

According to the Yellowstone County Detention Facility’s jail roster, Joseph Leonard Borgstom was booked into jail on Friday, May 7.

Lockwood Superintendent Tobin Novasio confirmed Borgstrom was a trustee of the school board up until recently.

Borgstrom notified Lockwood schools on Friday that he was resigning from his position as a school board trustee, a position he’s held for seven years said Novasio.

Court documents state an investigation revealed Borgstrom allegedly sexually assault a 12-year-old girl. The victim was taken to Billings Clinic for a medical evaluation.

Prosecutors allege Borgstrom penetrated the young girl with a sex toy that was found by detectives in a locked gun safe in Borgstrom’s home after a search warrant was obtained.

Borgstrom, 61, faces felony charges of sexual intercourse without consent and sexual assault.

Lockwood Superintendent Tobin Novasio said Monday there is an active police investigation into the matter but the position of a trustee is elected and because of that background checks do not happen.

“It’s a black eye for our school district and our community,” he said.

But Novasio also pointed out that while trustees do make decisions on policy and staffing, they do not have more access to students.

He says the district plans to work with the Montana School Association on an audit and review to make sure there are set policies in place to ensure safety for students.

“We know that parents are entrusting us with the most precious thing, and we take that seriously,” he said.

Borgstrom is set to make an appearance in Yellowstone County District Court on Tuesday.