News and Press Releases

Rodney Joe Running Crane Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on April 6, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, RODNEY JOE RUNNING CRANE, a 31-year-old resident of Browning, appeared for sentencing.

RUNNING CRANE was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 37 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

RUNNING CRANE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to abusive sexual contact.

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

On August 13, 2008, A.W. (age 10) was at the Old Devareaux Ranch, on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, playing with her sister and a friend. RUNNING CRANE is employed as a caretaker at the ranch and went there that morning to water the grass and feed some horses. When A.W. returned home from the ranch, she told her mother that her sister and her friend were in the hay loft of the barn and A.W. and RUNNING CRANE were on the ground level. A.W. explained that RUNNING CRANE came up behind her and grabbed her around the waist with both arms and then put one of his hands between her legs and held her for about 5 seconds.

On August 13, 2008, when interviewed, RUNNING CRANE denied the incident. When he was interviewed again on August 28, 2008, he admitted that he grabbed A.W. from behind and grabbed her vagina area and had his hand there for about 5 seconds. He said this was not an accident, that it was sexual.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RUNNING CRANE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RUNNING CRANE does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Vince Carroll prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Browning.



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