The former undersheriff in a Montana Hi-Line town is denying his second felony sex crime charge.
Luke Strommen, of Glasgow, has pleaded not guilty to two felonies: sexual intercourse without consent and sexual abuse of children.
During his recent arraignment in Valley County District Court on the rape charge, District Court Judge John Larson, of Missoula County, allowed Strommen to remain released on his own recognizance and remain free of a GPS monitor.
Strommen has been allowed similar conditions since his original felony was charged in October, but prosecutors argued new restrictions were necessary after charging him with rape in December.
Assistant Attorney General David Buchler had asked the court to impose a bond and require GPS monitoring.
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“It is the state’s position that the additional charge represents a change in circumstances in that instead of an isolated incident, (Strommen) is alleged to have engaged in a course of criminal sexual activity with underaged females, and that he utilized electronic devices in communicating with the alleged victims,” Buchler wrote in a filing before the hearing.
Defense attorney Jason Holden said Strommen had complied with all release conditions since being charged in October and would continue to do so.
Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen, who has recused himself from the case, said he could recall only two cases when he'd sought GPS monitoring before trial — one involving a stalking case with violations, and another involving threats to law enforcement and their family members. He said GPS monitoring was more common after trial, as a probation condition.
Strommen had worked for the Valley County Sheriff's Office since 2009 before resigning in November. He was promoted to undersheriff in January 2017 and put on paid leave in June 2018 amid an investigation into his relationship with one of the teen girls.