By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A Rocky Boy man serving more than a decade in prison for a drug conviction has been sentenced in connection with a 2000 sexual assault.
Lawrence Joe Bauer Jr., 24, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Great Falls by Judge Sam E. Haddon to eight years and 10 months in prison on a charge of sexual abuse. Bauer was found guilty by a jury earlier this year. The sentence will run concurrently with a 14-year sentence Bauer received in connection with a methamphetamine conspiracy.
According to the document charging Bauer with sexual abuse, he and two other men beat and raped a woman near gravel pits on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation after a night of drinking and then drove away, leaving her semiconscious.
About 3:30 a.m. July 7, 2000, Rocky Boy police received a call from a woman who reported that the victim had arrived at her residence naked and incoherent.
When tribal police arrived, the woman was wrapped in a blanket. She had injuries suggesting she had been beaten, the charging document said. The woman told officers she had been raped near gravel pits and left there by Bauer and two other men, the document said.
The woman said she had been drinking with her boyfriend earlier in the evening. At some point Bauer and the two other men took her for a ride in Bauer's car and provided her additional alcohol. They took her to the gravel pits, where she was punched in the face, the document said. The woman told police she could not remember any details of the assault after being punched, the document said.
A Rocky Boy police officer and several other witnesses had seen Bauer and two other men driving in Bauer's white Camaro shortly before the assault was reported.
Officers drove to the gravel pits, where they collected evidence. Among the items recovered were the victim's clothing, four condoms, condom wrappers, a human hair, and beer and whiskey bottles.
A fingerprint belonging to Bauer was found on one of the condom wrappers and DNA evidence linked him to the crime, the charging document said.
The victim was taken to Northern Montana Hospital, where doctors examined her. There was a large bruise and slight deformity on her nose, and cuts and bruises on her chest, arms and legs, the document said.
The investigation was performed by the FBI.
Haddon was the presiding judge in the drug case, handing down the 14-year sentence on Feb. 27. Bauer pleaded guilty to possession and conspiracy charges after an arrest for selling meth to police informants. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Bauer was responsible for distributing more than 4 pounds of meth over a four-year period.
People convicted in the federal system are not eligible for parole or early release.