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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Lodge Grass man admits burglary in sexual abuse investigation

BILLINGS — A Lodge Grass man suspected of breaking into a woman’s house on the Crow Indian Reservation and sexually abusing her in 2020 admitted to a burglary charge today, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Joe Claren Tate Reed, 32, pleaded guilty to burglary. Reed faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $50,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Judge Watters set sentencing for Dec. 8. Reed was detained pending further proceedings.

A plea agreement filed in the case calls for a second count of sexual abuse to be dismissed at sentencing if the court accepts the agreement.

In court documents, the government alleged that on July 18, 2020, Reed was drinking with the victim, identified as Jane Doe, and others. In the early morning, Doe was taken home and put to bed because of alcohol intoxication. Doe awoke naked in her bed. Doe realized that while she was passed out, her bedroom window had been removed and her front door was unlocked. Doe suspected Reed had broken into her home and had sexually abused her. Doe made an immediate report to the Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement and got a sexual assault medical exam. Reed consented to giving a buccal swab. The results found Reed’s DNA on swabs taken from Doe’s exam. Reed initially denied having sex with Doe. When confronted with the DNA results, Reed changed his story and claimed he attempted to have consensual sex with Doe, but she passed out, so he stopped.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lori Harper Suek and Thomas K. Godfrey are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Affairs Officer 406-247-4623
Press Release Number: 
22-208
Updated August 24, 2022