News and Press Releases

Lawrence John Sheehan Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Missoula, on October 28, 2009, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, LAWRENCE JOHN SHEEHAN, a 62-year-old resident of Kalispell, appeared for sentencing. SHEEHAN was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 180 months, consecutive to a state sentence with no credit for time served

  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: lifetime

SHEEHAN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to transportation of a minor.

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

In October of 2007, a female individual identified here as "B" reported to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office that she had been repeatedly sexually abused for years by her stepfather, SHEEHAN.

B" detailed sexual abuse that began in 2000 when she was 12 in New Mexico and continued through travels and moves to Arizona, Idaho, and back into Montana. Her mother married SHEEHAN in 1999 and the family lived in Montana. They moved to New Mexico in 2000 when the sexual abuse began. Her mother knew about the sexual abuse, as it often occurred while the three were in bed together. "B" was never allowed to attend school and was never home schooled either. The family lived a transient lifestyle, often staying in campgrounds or tents for short periods of time.

SHEEHAN was arrested and sent to prison for an old parole violation warrant in 2001 in Arizona, and "B's" mother continued her relationship with him during his incarceration and after his release.

One of the purposes of the travel was for SHEEHAN to engage in sexual activity with "B" undetected. He transported her in interstate commerce during their travels in Montana as well. "B" became pregnant at age 15 when the family was in Montana and had SHEEHAN'S child on November 23, 2003. While SHEEHAN continued to deny paternity, DNA tests proved otherwise. SHEEHAN continued his sexual abuse of "B" even after the birth of their child, and the activity only stopped when "B" and her mother finally left SHEEHAN shortly before reporting the incident.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that SHEEHAN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, SHEEHAN 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 Marcia K. Hurd prosecuted the case for the United States.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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