By Tim Eberly
An incarcerated Hill County man who is serving a one-year sentence for assaulting a law enforcement officer has two new convictions on his rap sheet.
Robert J. Young, 38, of Rudyard pleaded guilty this week to two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors. District Court Judge John Warner sentenced Young, an inmate at Montana State Prison who is also known as Robert J. Phillips, to another year in prison and then suspended the sentence.
According to court documents, law enforcement officers initially believed Young sexually assaulted a 7-year-old girl on at least 13 occasions between January 1999 and December 1999. Some of that time, Young was residing in Florida and North Carolina.
Hill County Attorney David Rice said today that Young was charged with two misdemeanors rather than felonies because of discrepancies in the alleged victim's statements.
"The victim is young and had a difficult time communicating about this," Rice said. "There were some inconsistencies in her first statement as opposed to now. In consulting with her mother, we decided that this was the best disposition, to keep her from going through a trial."
Young must abide by seven conditions under terms of the suspended sentence, including reporting to a hospital in Bolingbrook, Ill., for mental health treatment. Rice said Young could serve a full year at the hospital but that the conditions of his treatment have not been completed.
Young also must register as a sexual offender in any jurisdiction where he chooses to reside. Also, he is not allowed to have any contact with the victim, her family, or any unsupervised contact with people under the age of 16.
He also must remain law-abiding; not consume alcohol or enter any establishment where beverages are the primary item for sale, and keep the Hill County attorney's office advised of his address.
On Feb. 20, Young assaulted a Hill County Detention Center officer while the officer was performing an administration search on Young. Young slapped at the officer's hands, grabbed his uniform and slammed the officer into a wall, causing his head and back to hit the door of the room. He was sent to prison for that assault.