Man Convicted of Sexually Abusing a Child in 1990s
BILLINGS – George Chad Deputee, 42, of Crow Agency, was convicted of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact of a child yesterday following a three-day jury trial. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Watters presided over the trial. A date for sentencing has not been set.
Deputee was initially indicted in March 2015 for aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact of a child. A superseding indictment was returned by a grand jury in November 2015. It alleged that the sexual abuse occurred between April 1992—when Deputee turned 18 years old—and December 1997.
At trial, the government introduced evidence that Deputee sexually abused two girls starting in 1989. In August of 2012, the victim’s sister reported to BIA law enforcement that Deputee molested her in the late-1980s when she was approximately five years old. She told authorities the abuse had occurred frequently, both day and night, while Deputee was living with her family in Lodge Grass. Deputee was approximately 18 years old at the time. The victim’s mother remembered waking up to hear someone running out of her children’s room.
The victim’s sister also informed the BIA that Deputee had sexually abused her younger sister (the victim) sometime later. Both women testified at trial. They explained how Deputee had sexually abused and molested them when they were young girls. All of the instances of abuse occurred in Lodge Grass, Montana on the Crow Indian Reservation, where Deputee and both victims were living during the relevant time period.
The FBI interviewed Deputee in October 2012. Deputee denied that he had ever abused anyone. During his interview, Deputee initially omitted any account of having lived with the victim’s family during the time the abuse took place. When challenged, Deputee ultimately admitted that he had lived with the victim’s family but stated that the victim had not yet been born at the time. Later in the interview, however, he drew a diagram of the residence, marking one of the bedrooms with the victim’s name on it.
Deputee also testified at trial. On the witness stand, he claimed that he was living in North Dakota when the abuse occurred. He stated under oath that he only returned to Montana on two occasions between 1989 and 1993 – the relevant time frame. To rebut this alibi, the prosecution introduced a number of documents that placed Deputee in Lodge Grass for medical appointments on far more than two occasions during that time period.
At trial, the United States also moved to introduce evidence of other sexual assaults committed by Deputee, namely on the victim’s older sister. Both girls (now grown) recounted nearly identical, and protracted, periods of abuse by Deputee. Deputee consistently and repeatedly molested both girls from the time they were about five years old until they were nine or ten. The type and frequency of abuse reported by both girls was substantially the same. Deputee began abusing the victim referenced in the Indictment shortly after he stopped abusing her older sister. The government successfully argued that introduction of this evidence was necessary to corroborate the victim’s account, given the long period of time since the abuse had taken place.
The case was investigated by the FBI and BIA and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Sullivan and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Duerk.