Vincent Matthew Fortin Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on March 1, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, VINCENT MATTHEW FORTIN, a 23-year-old resident of Hays, pled guilty to domestic abuse by a habitual offender. Sentencing has been set for June 21, 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:
The victim had been in an on-and-off again relationship with FORTIN, who is an enrolled member of the Fort Belknap Tribe.
On July 18, 2011, FORTIN and victim began to argue at a residence which was within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. A short time later FORTIN grabbed a whip and proceeded to take the whip and hit the victim twice in the head. The victim fell to the ground and FORTIN kicked her in the arms and legs, and continued to whip her legs, face, and neck.
Police were alerted to the assault later in the day. The responding officer observed bruising on the victim's forehead, scratches on her neck and ear, as well as bruising and marks on her left leg. The officer called for an ambulance. An ambulance arrived and transported her to the hospital in Havre. The treating physician observed bruising to the victim's forehead and left side of her neck. She also had scalp swelling and a large abrasion on her right thigh and bruising to her shoulder.
FORTIN had three prior convictions for domestic abuse.
FORTIN faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.