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George found guilty of rape

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POLSON — An Elmo man has been found guilty of rape by way of a plea agreement. Tristan Tesh Palouse George, 22, entered a “no contest” plea at District Court in Polson Feb. 24 to sexual intercourse without consent. In a “no contest” plea, a defendant concedes the case based on the state’s evidence. It still results in a conviction.

According to court records, on June 23, 2021, a woman reported to law enforcement that she had been raped by George, an acquaintance she knew from high school. She told responding investigators that she and George had met up through social media and agreed to hang out at the Elmo docks that day. She said after consuming alcohol together she momentarily “blacked out.” She said the next thing she remembered was George touching her inappropriately before blacking out again. When she awakened a second time, George was pulling off her pants and proceeding to rape her. She said she was too intoxicated to give consent or fully understand what was happening.

George’s attorney, Justin Kalmbach of Polson, told the court that his client was intoxicated when the incident occurred and didn’t remember what happened, thus the “no contest” plea.

The plea agreement calls for a joint recommendation of sentencing being deferred for six years. Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher set sentencing for April 14. George is at liberty.

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