Vern Thomas Gardipee Sentenced in U.S. District Court
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on September 25, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, VERN THOMAS GARDIPEE, a 49-year-old resident of Box Elder and an enrolled member of the federally recognized Chippewa Cree Indian Tribe, was sentenced to a term of:
Prison: 30 months
Special Assessment: $100
Supervised Release: 30 years
GARDIPEE was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to sexual abuse of a minor.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danna R. Jackson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On April 27 and 28, 2012, GARDIPEE sexually abused a young girl. GARDIPEE got into bed with the victim and sexually abused her. The victim tried to get away from GARDIPEE and eventually got GARDIPEE to stop his advances but not until after sexual contact occurred.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that GARDIPEE will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, GARDIPEE 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.