A 45-year-old man was sentenced to 100 years in Montana State Prison for molesting a 4-year-old girl two years ago.
In the conclusion of a three-day trial in January, Shayne Bertelsen was convicted of felony sexual abuse of a child and tampering with a witness. On Wednesday he appeared at his sentencing in Cascade County District Court in handcuffs, while District Judge Katherine Bidegaray appeared through a television screen from her chambers in Sidney.
For the sexual abuse charge, Bidegaray sentenced Bertelsen to 100 years with 50 suspended in Montana State Prison, as well as 10 years for the tampering with a witness charge, which will run concurrent with the 100-year sentence.
Bertelsen's charges stem from a December 2015 arrest after the victim's mother called police to their home. The woman told police Bertelsen had been sober for some time, but had recently started drinking again and had digitally penetrated the woman's 4-year-old daughter on several occasions when the mother wasn't home.
Before his sentencing, a psychosexual therapist evaluated Bertelsen and wrote he would be "extremely difficult to manage" and recommended he "begin treatment in an incarcerated setting."
He didn't testify on his own behalf at his sentencing, but Bertelsen has maintained his innocence throughout the entirety of the case, according to court documents. Prosecutors wrote in the state's sentencing memo that Bertelsen claimed fake tapes of the victim's interviews had been made to secure a conviction.
After Bertelsen was charged and released on bail in late 2015 he began badgering the victim's family at work, local stores and their home, prompting the victim's mother to take the family to Spokane. Court documents state Bertelsen told the victim's mother that prosecutors were dropping his charges, and she would be charged with perjury if she appeared at his court hearings. In August 2016, prosecutors filed the additional charge of tampering with a witness.
Prosecutors also mentioned in court documents that Bertelsen had 13 previous felony convictions before he was convicted on these charges in January.
Bertelsen is now designated a Tier II sex offender, which is considered to be mid-level in likeliness to re-offend.
CHILLICOTHE - An Arch Street man is now facing 20 felony charges alleging child sex abuse of a girl since 2014.
Scott M. Camelin, 43, last known address of 241 Arch St., was secretly indicted on the first 19 charges - 10 counts of rape and nine counts of sexual battery - by a grand jury on May 19. He was subsequently arrested and has been held on $500,000 bond since, according to court records.
On Friday, a grand jury indicted him on another count of sexual battery against the same victim, said Todd Bost, an investigator with the Ross County Prosecutors Office. Although the allegations were known at the time of the initial indictment, the charge wasn't pursued due to a large number of charges but Bost said the assistant prosecutor assigned to the case asked they pursue the additional sexual battery charge.
According to Bost, the allegations came to light after the victim told her middle school guidance counselor in March she had been being raped and sexually assaulted since July 2014. If convicted, Camelin faces a possible life sentence.
The case was one of 10 presented to Friday's grand jury.
The jury returned indictments on all of the cases with the only other open indictment being for Luke W. Jackson-Cockerill, 28, of 447 Church St., on a fifth-degree felony count of unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance and a misdemeanor count of inducing panic.
The charges stem from a July 3 incident at his home where he allegedly refused to come out to talk to police who'd been told he had been outside with an AK47, possibly intoxicated, and arguing with people at the home. Jackson-Cockeril eventually came out and while he was legally allowed to have guns, Bost said one was a sawed off shotgun which is not legal to possess.