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Press Release

Jury Convicts Fort Peck Man of Raping a Sleeping Woman and Making False Statements to Federal Agents

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

GREAT FALLS – The United States Attorney’s Office announces that on June 2, 2015, a jury convicted Brandon Ray Buckles, 28, of Poplar, Montana, on all charges stemming from a rape on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.  The jury found Buckles guilty of Sexual Abuse and two False Statements to Federal Agents.  Buckles faces up to life in prison, up to $250,000 in fines, and up to lifetime supervised release for the rape.  For the false statements, he faces up to eight years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.  The false statements related to his claims that he never touched the victim at any time during the date of the rape.  The physical evidence showed otherwise.

At trial, Assistant United State Attorney Ryan Weldon presented evidence that Buckles was drinking with the victim and various other friends at a house party in Poplar, Montana.  The victim ultimately walked into her bedroom and fell asleep next to another man.  Buckles entered the same bedroom to look for his cell phone, but he saw an opportunity to rape the victim.  He walked over to the victim, pulled down her pants, and raped her until she ultimately woke and screamed at him to stop.  Buckles pulled up his pants, and left the house.  The male in the bed next to the victim never awoke during the rape because he was too intoxicated.  The victim immediately reported the rape.  Evidence from the victim was tested, and Buckles’ DNA was identified as a match. In contrast, Buckles told agents that he never touched the victim at any point.

Sentencing is before U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris in Great Falls, Montana, on September 8, 2015, at 10:30 a.m.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement.

Updated June 4, 2015