Richard Eugene Lonebear Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on August 19, 2010, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, RICHARD EUGENE LONEBEAR, a 39-year-old resident of Lame Deer, pled guilty to abusive sexual contact. Sentencing has been set for November 18, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On the morning of August 12, 2009, the victim, age 5, was with her mother at LONEBEAR and his wife's house in Lame Deer. LONEBEAR's wife was babysitting the victim while the victim's mother slept on a couch at the house. At some point, LONEBEAR's wife left the house.
The victim woke her mother up by jumping on her legs. While driving home that day, the victim told her mom that LONEBEAR tried to put his hand down her pants. The victim was examined by a doctor and told him the same thing. The victim also told another doctor the same thing which was videotaped.
When interviewed, LONEBEAR initially denied any sexual contact but finally admitted that he touched the victim under her pants, "skin to skin" on the top part of her vaginal area. He was very specific that he stopped himself and did not put his hand all the way down into her vaginal area. He said that he touched the victim because her mom was sleeping on the couch in a mini skirt and she was not wearing underwear.
LONEBEAR faces possible penalties of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.