Mark Kapps, 31, of Plevna was found guilty on count one: sexual assault with a minor, a felony and count two: sexual intercourse without consent, a felony. Judge Michael B. Hayworth presided over the trial that concluded Feb.12 at the Fallon County Courthouse in Baker.
By Sherry Vogel
In a trial that began Feb. 9, prosecutors alleged that on or before Aug. 4, 2014, Kapps had “put his hand down the pants” of a minor under 12 years of age.
Forensic evidence from the Montana State Crime Lab confirmed that Kapps’ DNA was not found on the minor’s clothing as alleged. A blanket that was submitted to the Baker Police Department as evidence, four days after the initial crime scene evidence was collected, proved to have DNA from Kapps.
In closing arguments, the defense suggested that a custody battle for a two month old infant of Kapps and the accuser’s aunt was the reason for the allegations.
The jury delivered verdicts after five hours of deliberations. Kapps is being held in the Fallon County jail.
The maximum penalty of count 1: sexual assault, a felony, is life imprisonment or imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than four years, unless the judge makes a written finding that there is good cause to impose a term of less than 4 years and imposes a term of less than 4 years, or more than 100 years and may be fined not more than $50,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The maximum penalty of count 2: sexual intercourse without consent, a felony, is life imprisonment or imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 100 years, a fine of not more than $50,000.00, or both such fine and imprisonment.
A Sentencing Hearing will be scheduled upon receipt of the Presentence Investigation Report.