Leonard Dean Follette Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on January 10, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, LEONARD DEAN FOLLETTE, a 50-year-old resident of Fort Kipp, pled guilty to sexual abuse. Sentencing has been set for April 5, 2012. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica A. Betley, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
LEONARD FOLLETTE is a 50-year-old male and an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Tribes. The victim is currently 21-years-old. In February 2011, FBI Agents contacted the victim regarding a separate investigation. During that investigation, agents discovered the victim had reported she was sexually molested in 2003 by LEONARD FOLLETTE. The victim was 12 or 13-years-old in 2003. The victim said the case was not pursued because FOLLETTE had died, however, she said FOLLETTE is her neighbor and is still alive.
Based on his conversation with the victim, the FBI Agent reviewed notes from a Child Protection Team meeting held in February 2003. During this meeting the team discussed a report that LEONARD FOLLETTE touched the victim's breasts and buttocks while he babysat her. The victim was 12-years-old at the time.
The FBI agent interviewed the victim. She has been a neighbor of FOLLETTE's since she was four years old. FOLLETTE and his wife used to babysit the victim and her brother after school from 4:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. She remembered FOLLETTE drank heavily and was always drunk. The victim was friends with FOLLETTE's daughter and they fell asleep on FOLLETTE's bed. FOLLETTE came into the bedroom around 3:00 a.m. and lay next to the victim. He put his hands down her pants and also up her shirt. The victim said FOLLETTE babysat her until she was 13-years-old. During those years he molested her approximately 20 times. She explained he was always drunk and the molestation consisted of FOLLETTE touching her genital area and chest.
The FBI also interviewed FOLLETTE in July 2011. FOLLETTE said he used to work for Head Start until 1998. The victim was in Head Start, and he babysat her and her brother until their parents got off work. FOLLETTE admitted to sexually abusing the victim two times. FOLLETTE explained that the victim was friends with his daughter, and he also knew her from the Head Start Program. When the victim was approximately 11 or 12-years-old she spent the night with FOLLETTE's daughter at his house. FOLLETTE was out drinking alcohol and when he returned home, his wife went to bed, he checked his email, and then walked to the couch where the victim was sleeping. FOLLETTE put his hand inside the victim's underwear and held his hand on her vagina because he did not want to wake her up. The next incident occurred approximately two or three weeks later when the victim was at his house watching a movie with his daughter. The girls fell asleep on a mattress. FOLLETTE turned off the movie and again placed his hand inside the victim's underwear. He held his hand on her vagina and said he did not move his hand or penetrate the victim's vagina because he did not want to wake her up. FOLLETTE's house is located in Fort Kipp, Montana which is within the boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
FOLLETTE faces possible penalties of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.