Ronald Lewis Kercher Ii Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on April 1, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, RONALD LEWIS KERCHER II, a resident of Billings, pled guilty to failure to register as a sexual offender. Sentencing is set for July 1, 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 November 30, 1998, in Jefferson County, KERCHER was convicted of felony sexual intercourse without consent, the victim being a 13-year-old female. KERCHER was sentenced to 5 years in prison with the provisions that he was required to register as a sex offender and could not associate with children under 18 years of age without a responsible adult present. KERCHER was designated as Tier 2 offender by the same court.
On March 3, 2003, KERCHER was registered as a sex offender after his release from prison.
KERCHER ultimately failed to register in Yellowstone County. On February 21, 2008, a felony bench warrant of arrest for failure to register as a sex offender was issued.
On March 12, 2008, the U.S. Marshals Service Montana Violent Offender Task Force (MVOTF) located and arrested KERCHER based on the warrant.
On April 24, 2008, Yellowstone County District Court convicted KERCHER with the crime of failure to register as a sex offender and released KERCHER on the condition he make himself available on his sentencing date. KERCHER failed to appear for his sentencing date of August 29, 2008, and the court issued a bench warrant of arrest on September 4, 2008.
On September 9, 2008, task force members went to KERCHER'S last listed address in Billings and learned that he had been evicted and moved out sometime in early August, with no forwarding address information.
On October 8, 2008, KERCHER was arrested by the Woodstock Police Department in Woodstock, Georgia, for driving while his license was suspended or revoked. A routine criminal history check revealed the active arrest warrant from Yellowstone County and indicated that KERCHER was a convicted sex offender. KERCHER was extradited back to Montana.
A review of the Montana Sexual and Violent Offender Registry and the Yellowstone County's Sheriff's Office's records confirmed that KERCHER had not registered as required. The Georgia Sex Offender Registry also confirmed that KERCHER never registered as required after moving to Georgia in approximately August of 2008.
KERCHER faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
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.