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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fort Peck Kidnapper Sentenced to Over 40 Years in Federal Prison

GREAT FALLS - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that John William Lieba II was sentenced to 500 months (41.6 years) in prison, 5 years of supervised release, and a $300 special assessment.  U.S. District Judge Brian Morris presided over the hearing.   

The case arose because Lieba was at the park in Wolf Point, Montana.  Lieba first tried to kidnap an eleven-year-old girl, but she was too fast.  He then settled for a four-year-old girl because she was not as fast.  Lieba then vaginally raped the child, strangled her, and left her for dead in an abandoned vehicle in a remote area near Wolf Point.  Because it was the heart of winter, temperatures dipped below freezing while the victim was missing.  When interviewed, Lieba initially denied knowing of the kidnapping and never showed contrition or remorse for his actions.  Instead, he told investigators that he was upset by his lost sexual opportunities with other females.  

In a sentencing memo filed in federal court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon stated, “Lieba, through his actions, forced every parent in Montana to confront their worst nightmare.  That nightmare became a reality in Wolf Point when Lieba kidnapped, raped, and left a four-year-old child for dead.”

Judge Morris sentenced Lieba to over 40 years in federal prison, with five years of supervised release to follow.  Because there is no parole in the federal system, the truth in sentencing guidelines mandate that Lieba will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court.  In the federal system, Lieba does have the opportunity to shorten the term of custody by earning credit for good behavior.  However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.      

The Lieba case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, and multiple other federal, state, and local agencies. 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
KERI LEGGETT Acting Public Information Officer (406) 761-7715
Updated July 26, 2017