A Billings judge set bond at $200,000 on Tuesday for a man prosecutors say may have had sexual contact with as many as seven underage girls.
Ronald Curtis Brown, 29, appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court on a single count of felony sexual abuse of children.
When setting the bond, Judge David Carter said he was concerned about the safety of the alleged victims in the case and that Brown could pose a flight risk.
A detective with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office started investigating the case on Feb. 4 after learning from a woman that her underage daughter had been texting “RC,” who was later identified as Brown, according to charging documents.
The girl admitted to her mother that she had had sex with “RC” twice, an affidavit says.
The detective got a search warrant for the number “RC” had been using to communicate with the girl and learned that the same phone number had been used to engage in text conversations of a sexual nature with another young girl in Lewistown.
Court records say the detective interviewed the girl and learned that she had been communicating with Brown for about month. According to the detective, Brown and the girl met on a website called meetme.com and communicated using a smartphone application called KIK MESSENGER, which allows people to text and send receive photos and videos.
The detective found that Brown had a Wyoming license plate, but the address listed on the license belonged to another person. The detective also found that the phone number Brown was using to communicate with the alleged victim belonged to the same person whose address was listed on the driver’s license.
The detective used a smartphone and, posing as the young girl, arranged to meet Brown in Billings. In their communications, Brown sent a nude photo of himself to the detective and detailed the sexual acts he would perform when they met, court records say.
Detectives monitored Brown’s vehicle as he went to the place where he had agreed to meet the young girl and arrested him last Thursday.
Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Julie R. Patten said Brown is a serious danger to young girls in the community, and added that detectives still working the case say that Brown may have had contact with between two and seven more underage girls.
If convicted, Brown could face up to life in prison, or between four and 100 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000.