Billings man denies committing sex assault 17 years ago

2013-08-05T12:45:00Z 2013-08-05T20:49:04Z Billings man denies committing sex assault 17 years agoGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

A Billings man on Monday denied federal allegations that he sexually assaulted a juvenile 17 years ago near Pryor.

Appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby, Aaron Ross Turnsplenty, Jr., 37, pleaded not guilty to a two-count indictment charging him with aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact. The crimes allegedly occurred in the summer of 1996 near Pryor on the Crow Reservation.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to comment on the case.

The indictment said Turnsplenty engaged in sexual acts and sexual contact with a person who was younger than 12 at the time.

If convicted, Turnsplenty faces a maximum of life in prison and a possible $250,000 fine on the aggravated sexual assault charge. Turnsplenty previously was convicted of sexual assault in Yellowstone County and sentenced in 2009 to five years with the Montana Department of Corrections with some time suspended.

Ostby ordered Turnsplenty to remain in custody pending trial. The case will be heard by Senior U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy.



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