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Justice News

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

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Scobey Man Sentenced to Nine Years for Raping Woman in Wolf Point

GREAT FALLS - Joseph Dean Lee, 27, of Scobey, was sentenced for assault with the intent to commit aggravated sexual abuse and assault with the intent to commit abusive sexual contact on April 19, 2016.  Lee was convicted following a jury trial in January.  U.S. District Court Judge Brian M. Morris sentenced Lee to 110 months of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment. 

In documents filed with the Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon outlined the proof presented at trial.  On January 28, 2015, at approximately 3:00 a.m., the victim called 911 while she was being raped.  The 911 operator heard the victim begging Lee to stop, telling Lee to quit “choking” her, and stating that Lee “ripped” her pants down.  The 911 operator immediately dispatched law enforcement to a rape in progress.  Lee released the victim, and law enforcement found Lee in the victim’s bed after arriving on scene.  When interviewed at the police station, Lee claimed that he never touched the victim.  Law enforcement swabbed Lee’s penis, and it showed that, to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, the foreign DNA on Lee’s penis was the victim’s DNA.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the truth in sentencing guidelines mandate that Lee will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court.  In the federal system, Lee 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.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Peck Tribe.

MELISSA HORNBEIN, Public Information Officer, (406) 457-5277
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated April 20, 2016