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Man admits raping runaway teen in Billings park
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Man admits raping runaway teen in Billings park

Richard Salminen

Salminen

A man in his 50s has admitted to raping a teenage runaway in July 2020 after encountering her walking alone while he was on his way home after his restaurant shift.

Richard James Salminen pleaded guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent on Friday before Judge Donald Harris in Yellowstone County District Court.

Salminen had originally been charged with three counts of rape, but a plea agreement had him plead guilty to the single count. The details of the agreement were unknown at press time.

Salminen admitted during Friday's hearing that he raped a 15-year-old girl in Terry Park. Detectives had stated in court documents that she was walking away from the Econo Lodge hotel where she was staying with her mother. The girl told police she decided to leave the hotel after the two argued.

Salminen and another man were walking away from work around 2 a.m. when they began talking to the girl, who was walking behind them, charges stated. The girl told police the three eventually walked to a park, where Salminen raped her three times, gave her $11 and left, charges stated.

Sentencing will be set before Judge Mary Knisely at a later date and following the completion of a psychosexual evaluation. The maximum sentence for rape in Montana is life or 2 to 100 years in prison.

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