Lame Deer man sentenced to nine years in prison for sexually abusing girl on Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation
GREAT FALLS — A federal jury today convicted a Browning man who was accused of raping a girl in Heart Butte, on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
After a two-day trial that began on March 21, the jury found William Ronald Blackman, 31, guilty of attempted sexual abuse and two counts of sexual abuse as charged in a superseding indictment.
Blackman faces a maximum of life in prison, a $250,000 fine and not less than five years to a lifetime of supervised release.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other sentencing factors. Sentencing was set for Aug. 10. Blackman was released pending further proceedings.
“Blackman repeatedly took advantage of a teenage girl for his own sexual gratification, which is something she will have to continue to overcome for the rest of her life. While the jury got it right, Blackman’s actions permanently harmed a child and unfortunately, no guilty verdict will change that. But the guilty verdicts rightly hold Blackman accountable. I am extremely grateful to Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon, along with the FBI, for their diligent work on this case,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.
In court documents and at trial, the government alleged that Blackman sexually abused the victim, identified as Jane Doe, on three occasions when she was physically incapable of declining participating in a sexual act. Jane Doe, who was approximately 15 years old at the time, had passed out from alcohol intoxication and woke up to Blackman sexually abusing or having intercourse with her. The assaults occurred in 2019 and 2020. The victim ultimately reported the sexual abuse to a counselor.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.
Clair Johnson Howard
Public Affairs Officer