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Lockwood Schools trustee in jail on rape charges
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Lockwood Schools trustee in jail on rape charges

A man who has served on the Lockwood Schools Board of Trustees is being held in the county jail on a rape charge.

Joseph Leonard Borgstrom, 61, faces charges of sexual intercourse without consent and sexual assault. Arraigned is set in Yellowstone County District Court on Tuesday.

Borgstrom is accused of raping and assaulting a 12-year-old. He was booked into the Yellowstone County Detention Facility on Friday.

Borgstrom is listed on the Lockwood Schools website as a trustee. Superintendent Tobin Novasio said Borgstrom verbally resigned on Friday, but that he lost his re-election bid and his seat was already set to change hands on Tuesday. 

The news was first reported by KTVQ.

According to charges, Borgstrom waived his Miranda rights and gave investigators a statement confirming the allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Novasio said after learning about Borgstrom's charges, the district asked the Montana School Boards Association to audit Lockwood's policies and procedures to recommend any needed changes regarding student safety. 

Novasio said because there's nothing in Montana law requiring a background check for elected officials like school board members, Lockwood isn't alone in the risk it was exposed to. 

"You know I would tell you that this could have probably happened at any district in the state," Novasio said. 

Still, he said, it's not guaranteed that any problems would have come to light in a background check on Borgstrom. Sometimes those checks provide "a false sense of security," he added. 

Borgstrom held his position on the board for seven years. He didn't work as a volunteer, coach or in any other capacity for the district, Novasio said. As such, he didn't have access to students on campus that would be any different than access community members or parents would have. 

Novasio said "our hearts go out" to the victim in the case. 

"It's shocking I think for everybody involved," he said. 


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