A youth and his father, accused respectively of assaulting, raping and threatening a high school girl and of sending texts telling her not to go to the police pleaded not guilty Monday in state District Court in Havre.
Ryan Holsapple, 17 at the time of the alleged incident, and his father, Jeffrey Holsapple, each pleaded not guilty to all charges before state District Judge David Cybulski of Plentywood.
Ryan Holsapple faces misdemeanor counts in youth court of sexual assault and indecent exposure and a felony count of sexual intercourse without consent in District Court. Cybulski set an Oct. 21 trial in the youth court case.
Cybulski, who took over the case after the prosecution requested a new judge, set a hearing for July 25 on transferring Ryan Holsapple’s felony case to juvenile court.
Under Montana law, children can be charged as adults for some offenses, including rape, and then the judge must determine whether the defendant, victim and community would be best served if the case is tried in district court or juvenile court.
Cybulski set Jeffrey Holsapple’s trial for Oct. 21.
Ryan Holsapple is accused of raping the girl April 15 after texting her to ask her to come to his house to talk and to pick up some of her possessions which she had left there. She told investigators May 30 that he tried to keep her from leaving afterward and she picked up a knife and held it between them to keep him away from her.
She said that he had hit her in the months previous to the alleged incident, and afterward told her not to go to the police, including allegedly threatening to shoot her dog if she did.
She said that on May 27 he confronted her at school, grabbing her arm and telling her not to tell anyone or “he would be in more trouble,” a charging document says.
She told the investigator that later that same day Jeffrey Holsapple began sending text messages to her asking her not to go to the police, to “Please just let us handle this,” a charging document says.