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Tyrelle Thomas Peterson

Peterson

Attorneys in a rape case are seeking a sentence of five years with the Department of Corrections after the man changed his plea Monday.

Tyrelle Thomas Peterson, 22, entered an Alford plea in Yellowstone County District Court to one count of sexual intercourse without consent. The plea means Peterson does not admit guilt but admits the state has enough evidence to prove the elements of the crime.

The defense and prosecution plan to jointly recommend 15 years with the Department of Corrections, with 10 years suspended. A DOC sentence allows for a community placement in a prerelease center or other facility.

If Peterson is determined to be at a greater risk to re-offend than level one, which is the lowest level, or if he shows elevated results on a psychopathy test, the state can withdraw the sentencing recommendation.

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Peterson raped a woman, according to charges. In a statement to police, the woman said she was six months pregnant and that Peterson had attempted to strangle her as well.

Peterson was under the influence of alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine on Jan. 26 and the morning of Jan. 27 and was “unable to account for conduct” involving the victim, he admitted in the plea agreement.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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Justice Reporter

Justice reporter for the Billings Gazette.