Judge clears Fort Peck official accused of raping Billings hotel maid

2014-08-15T17:00:00Z 2014-08-16T08:07:03Z Judge clears Fort Peck official accused of raping Billings hotel maidBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

At a prosecutor’s request, a judge has dismissed the case against a commissioner with the Fort Peck Housing Authority who was accused of raping a Billings hotel maid July 24.

In an order signed Thursday, Justice of the Peace David A. Carter dismissed the sole count of sexual intercourse without consent that had been filed against Darren Jon Longhair, 24, of Fort Kipp.

A motion filed by Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Julie R. Patten stated that the charge should be dismissed because “it is not in the interest of justice to pursue or prosecute this matter.”

“I’m relieved,” Longhair said Friday. “But I was more worried about my reputation and my reservation’s reputation because I knew there was no crime committed.”

Longhair said he has been on the Fort Peck Housing Authority Board of Commissioners for two and a half years.

The charge was dropped because it wasn’t supported by police investigation, Longhair said.

Further details on why the case was dismissed were not immediately available. Patten could not be reached for comment Friday. Prosecutors have the option to reopen the case because the charge was dismissed without prejudice.

Charging documents alleged that on July 24 Longhair asked a hotel maid to inspect his room at the Rimview Inn, 1025 N. 27th St., so he could get his room deposit back and then forced her to have sex.

The woman told police that Longhair ripped her clothes off, raped her and then left after about 15 minutes, charging documents state.

She gave police the license plate number of the vehicle Longhair was driving, and hotel records showed he was the occupant of the room where the alleged rape happened, charging documents say.

The alleged victim also identified Longhair from a photo lineup, court records say.

Longhair appeared July 31 on the charge in Yellowstone County Justice Court, where Judge Pedro R. Hernandez had him arrested and set his bond at $50,000.

As part of the dismissal of the case, Judge Carter ordered the bond be exonerated. The order also states that Longhair must be given the photographs and fingerprints that were taken of him during the investigation.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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