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Montana digest

Montana digest

Saturday, March 19, 2005

City man charged with rape of girl

Bond was set at $150,000 on Friday in District Court for a Billings man accused of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl.

Daniel Gerard Lacey, 30, pleaded not guilty at arraignment to one count of rape and two counts of felony sexual assault. He appeared in court by video from the county jail.

According to court records, Lacey was arrested Monday after a woman called police when she found pornographic pictures of children on a computer. The woman identified a child in some of the photographs. Lacey also appeared in some of the photos with the girl. Prosecutors said in court records that Lacey admitted the abuse to police.

Miles City hotel damaged by fire

MILES CITY - About one-third of the Gingham Lady Motel east of here was lost in a fire Thursday night, officials said.

Joe Swanson, Custer County Rural Volunteer Fire Company assistant chief, said the fire was reported at 10:21 p.m. and the first truck arrived about five minutes later. Four vehicles from Miles City and two from Kinsey were on site with about 18 firefighters.

Swanson said firefighters were told the building had been evacuated. The fire started on the northern end of the building and spread down the wing, Swanson said. Several firefighters stayed at the scene for about 12 hours, putting out hot spots.

No one was injured. The state fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.

McGrath tackles illegal Net sales

HELENA - Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath has announced plans to prevent illegal Internet cigarette sales.

The tobacco tax increase approved by Montana voters last November makes enforcement efforts crucial, McGrath said in a prepared statement.

McGrath said credit card companies have agreed to adopt policies prohibiting credit card use for cigarette sales over the Internet and to investigate and take action with respect to any Internet sellers identified by law enforcement as using their credit cards for illegal online cigarette sales.

Most Internet cigarette sales are illegal because they typically violate state age verification laws, federal reporting laws, laws prohibiting direct shipment of cigarettes to consumers, and tax laws, McGrath's statement said.

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