A federal judge on Thursday ordered a Lame Deer man to spend 15 years in prison after he admitted to raping a woman he had choked into unconsciousness.

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters of Billings sentenced Drew Dudley John Fisher, 20, who pleaded guilty earlier to aggravated sexual abuse. There was no plea agreement.

Fisher faced a guideline range of about 10 years to 12 years.

Fisher told the judge he took responsibility for his actions. “I want to get all the help I can,” he said.

Watters followed a prosecution recommendation for a longer sentence and noted that Fisher had a criminal record.

Fisher, the judge said, gave the victim a beer that tasted strange to her and she immediately felt tired. Fisher told the victim to lie down and when she woke up, he choked her until she passed out. When she awoke again, Fisher was raping her.

The assault happened on Dec. 1, 2015, in Lame Deer.

Prosecutors said Fisher, when interviewed by law enforcement in February 2016, initially denied having sex with the victim but later claimed he did but that it was consensual. He later admitted the sex was not consensual.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Sullivan initially recommended a 15-year sentence in court records but asked for a 20-year term during the sentencing hearing. Sullivan called Fisher a danger to the community and said Fisher’s actions were those of a predator.

Assistant Federal Defender Gillian Gosch recommended a five-year sentence saying Fisher was remorseful and knows he has “a serious problem.”

Gosch also said Fisher’s upbringing was difficult and that he had little family support. He grew up with violence, substance abuse and emotional abuse, she said.

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.