Butte man sentenced to 40 years in prison for raping 15-year-old girl - Montana Standard, 6/5/2024 Town of Nantucket Health & Human Services, Massachusetts (2024)

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Montana Standard - 6/5/2024

Jun. 5—Calling it "some of the worst behavior I have seen in my years on the bench," a judge on Wednesday sentenced a Butte man to 40 years in the Montana State Prison for raping a 15-year-old girl nearly four years ago.

District Judge Robert Whelan also ordered that 48-year-old Jay Dee Davisson won't be eligible for parole for at least the first 20 years and is to be transferred to the prison in Deer Lodge within 10 days.

A jury convicted Davisson of sexual intercourse without consent after a three-day trial in January 2023. The rape occurred in August 2020, so Prosecutor Kelli Fivey said Wednesday that the victim has waited nearly four years for justice.

The victim testified at trial that Davisson picked up her and a 19-year-old friend on a Butte street around 1 a.m. and gave her whiskey. She said the next thing she knew, she woke up at 1 p.m. the next day, alone in a room at the Red Lion Hotel in Rocker.

She said she was wearing a shirt that wasn't hers, had no pants or underwear on and Davisson had left her a note, a toothbrush and $30 for cab fare. She was taken to St. James Healthcare hours later where a rape exam was done.

The Montana Standard is not naming the victim to protect potential victims of sexual assault.

Davisson appeared for Wednesday's hearing via video from the Butte jail but declined to say anything when Whelan gave him the chance.

During trial, prosecutors played hotel video footage showing Davisson arriving at the parking lot in the early morning hours, walking around for a few minutes, leaving and then returning about an hour later.

They also presented a still photo showing Davisson carrying the victim into the hotel. She was in an apparent limp state with her pants on, her midriff exposed and had a T-shirt pulled over her head that covered her face.

Fivey reminded Whelan of that evidence Wednesday and spoke of how the victim felt when she woke up, alone, with no cell phone, as a 15-year-old girl.

"She was confused, disoriented, her body hurt in places that we don't want to talk about," Fivey said. "She was alone and had zero memory of the night before."

Fivey said the victim's grades plummeted after the rape, her attendance at high school declined and she felt isolated and disgusted with herself.

She had since graduated high school and was employed, Fivey said, but recently lost her father and found it difficult to grieve because of what happened four years ago.

She asked Whelan to sentence Davisson to 60 years in prison with 20 years suspended but no parole for the first 20 years.

Attorney Jack Morris defended Davisson at trial, saying his client thought the victim was older than 16.

Attorney Suzanne Marshall Malloy became the defense attorney after trial and during Wednesday's sentencing, asked Whelan to impose a 10-year prison sentence with five years suspended.

Davisson had a conviction in 2003, she said, but had remained law abiding for years after that and could do so again under supervision. Her requested sentence would allow her client to get sex offender treatment and return to society.

But Whelan balked at that, saying the video he watched during trial showed predatory behavior.

"This is unacceptable conduct regardless of how old the victim was," he said. "The only thing I'm really considering here is whether or not to suspend a portion of the sentence."

But he agreed to the prosecution's request for a 60-year prison term with 20 years suspended. Ann Shea joined Fivey in prosecuting the case.

The victim was in the courtroom Wednesday and talked briefly with Fivey after the hearing, crying softly during the conversation.

(If you or someone you know are a victim of sexual violence, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is available to help. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673 or chat online at online.rainn.org. RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, working in partnership with more than 1,000 local service providers.)

Mike Smith is a reporter at the Montana Standard with an emphasis on government and politics.

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(c)2024 The Montana Standard (Butte, Mont.)

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Butte man sentenced to 40 years in prison for raping 15-year-old girl - Montana Standard, 6/5/2024 Town of Nantucket Health & Human Services, Massachusetts (2024)
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