News and Press Releases

Leonard Dean Follette Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on April 3, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, LEONARD DEAN FOLLETTE, a 50-year-old resident of Fort Kipp and an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Tribes, appeared for sentencing. FOLLETTE was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 88 months

Special Assessment: $100

Supervised Release: 3 years

FOLLETTE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to sexual abuse.

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:

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 FOLLETTE when she was 12 or 13-years-old. 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 FOLLETTE had sexually assaulted the victim while he babysat her. The victim was 12-years-old at the time.

The agent interviewed the victim. She had been a neighbor of FOLLETTE's when she was very young. FOLLETTE and his wife used to babysit the victim after school. 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. 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 twice. 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 e-mail, and then walked to the couch where the victim was sleeping. FOLLETTE then sexually assaulted her.

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 sexually assaulted the victim.

FOLLETTE's house is located in Fort Kipp which is within the boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

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

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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