News and Press Releases

Thomas John Latterell Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls on March 10, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, THOMAS JOHN LATTERELL, a 46-year-old resident of Westby, pled guilty to failure to register as a sexual offender. Sentencing is set for June 8, 2009. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On December 13, 2008, Sheridan County dispatch received a 911 hang up call from LATTERELL'S residence in Westby. A deputy then made contact with LATTERELL and subsequently learned that LATTERELL had a felony conviction requiring him to register as a sexual offender.

In September of 1996, LATTERELL had been convicted for felony assault with the intent to commit sexual abuse causing bodily injury in Iowa. LATTERELL was therefore required to register under the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act due to his conviction. LATTERELL registered as a sexual offender in Iowa in June of 2006, and updated that registration in November of 2006. He subsequently moved to Montana where he was residing in Westby.

The Montana Sexual and Violent Offender Registry confirmed that LATTERELL had not registered or updated his registration as required by law and the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office also verified that he had not registered or updated his registration through their office, thus he was out of compliance.

LATTERELL faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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