Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Probation officer denies rape charge

Trial set for December


A Havre man has denied raping the mother of a youth under his supervision as a juvenile probation officer, and the judge set the trial for Dec. 8.

Stephen David Mills, born in 1965, pleaded not guilty in state District Court in Havre this week to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent.

District Judge Katherine Bidegaray, who is presiding over the case, appeared via video from the Richland County Law and Justice Center in Sidney.

Montana Assistant Attorney General Joel Thompson, who is prosecuting the case, said he thought the trial would last three to four days.

Mills’ attorney, Jeremy Yellin, said he thought a five-day slot would be better, adding that he had not yet received all of the information the prosecution is required to disclose to the defense.

Thompson said the information should be provided within a few days.

Yellin also asked for the trial to be set later in the year, saying law enforcement had arrested Mills in December but he wasn’t charged for nearly five months, giving the prosecution additional time to prepare.

Bidegaray scheduled the trial for five days.

Mills was arrested in the early morning of Jan. 12 after Havre police received a call from a woman who said she had been raped. Charges were filed June 6.

The woman told investigating officers that after she left a bar following an argument with a friend, Mills, who also had been in the bar, approached her and offered to give her a ride to her car, a charging document says.

Instead, he drove to his residence, the woman said. He invited her inside, and she agreed, saying she trusted him and didn’t think anything would happen. Once inside, the woman told the officers, he forced her to have sex with him, she said.

Mills told investigating officers he had not taken her to his residence and had not had sex with her. He told them that a hearing was scheduled the following week about her child, for whom he was the probation officer. The placement committee had recommended the youth be removed from the woman’s care, he said.

The DNA on a sample taken from the woman matched Mills’ DNA profile, and a partial profile of another also matched his, the charging document says.


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