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Man awaits sentencing on sexual abuse charges

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A Polson man entered a plea of guilty at District Court in Polson on Jan. 7 to one count of felony sexual intercourse without consent.

Harlan Jay Gipe, 69, entered the plea as part of a plea agreement that will dismiss, at sentencing, one felony count of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of felony sexual assault.

Gipe is accused, in charging documents, of assaulting a “Jane Doe” while she was between the ages of 10 and 16. Jane Doe told a forensic interpreter the incident occurred on numerous occasions between 2011 and 2017 at Gipe’s residence outside of Polson.

The plea agreement comes with a joint recommendation of 20 years in Montana State Prison with all of that time suspended. It also calls for Gipe to pay restitution of $36,000.

District Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher ordered a psychological evaluation and pre-sentence investigation. She set sentencing for March 11.


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