A jury tonight convicted Edward Harold Ghostbear of Havre of committing sexual assault on a 7-year-old girl in his care.
The jury deliberated for less than four hours before returning the verdict following a five-day trial in state District Court in Havre.
Ghostbear, who was born in 1977, was accused of molesting the daughter of his girlfriend in the homeless shelter in the basement of a Havre church while he was babysitting the girl.
He was charged with sexual intercourse without consent or, in the alternative, the charge of sexual assault, both felonies.
The jury announced shortly before 7 p.m. it had reached a verdict. The jury members were polled at 7:30 and confirmed their decision of guilty on the charge of sexual assault.
Judge Dan Boucher said he would schedule a sentencing hearing once he is able to order a pre-sentence investigation including a psycho-sexual evaluation. He said he expects the sentencing hearing could not take place before late in December.
Boucher said he would order Ghostbear be held in custody pending sentencing.
Ghostbear is awaiting imposition pending the disposition of this case on a sentence for a felony count of partner or family member assault to which he pleaded guilty in a plea agreement. Boucher sentenced him June 11 to five years with the Montana Department of Corrections with two years suspended for that offense.