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State v. Dietsch

Supreme Court of Montana

September 3, 2013

STATE OF MONTANA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
ROBERT LEE COLTON DIETSCH, Defendant and Appellant.

Submitted on Briefs: August 7, 2013.

APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Twenty-First Judicial District, In and For the County of Ravalli, Cause No. DC 2011-54 Honorable James A. Haynes, Presiding Judge.

For Appellant: Wade Zolynski, Chief Appellate Defender; Deborah S. Smith, Assistant Appellate Defender; Helena, Montana.

For Appellee: Timothy C. Fox, Montana Attorney General; Tammy A. Hinderman, Assistant Attorney General; Helena, Montana William Fulbright, Ravalli County Attorney; Hamilton, Montana.

OPINION

Brian Morris Justice.

¶1 Robert Lee Colton Dietsch (Dietsch) appeals his conviction from the Twenty-First Judicial District, Ravalli County. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

¶2 We address the following issues on appeal:

¶3 Whether the District Court abused its discretion in denying Dietsch's request for a transfer to Youth Court?

¶4 Whether the District Court imposed a lawful sentence?

PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

¶5 In February 2011, 17-year old Dietsch convinced 12-year old C.C., and her friend to join Dietsch and two of his friends at his mother's home. Dietsch's mother was away for several days on business, and had left Dietsch to supervise his younger siblings and the home.

¶6 Once there, Dietsch pressured C.C. to have sex with him. Although she initially declined, Dietsch continued to pressure C.C. Eventually he picked C.C. up, carried her into the bathroom, removed his and her clothing, and then had sexual intercourse with C.C.

¶7 C.C. told her mother about the incident. C.C.'s mother alerted the police. The State of Montana (State) charged Dietsch as an adult with one count of sexual intercourse without consent and one count of sexual assault. Dietsch acknowledges both C.C.'s age, and that sexual intercourse with C.C. was illegal because of her age. The State has not alleged physical force or intimidation on Dietsch's part.

ΒΆ8 Dietsch moved to transfer prosecution from the District Court to the Youth Court. The District Court denied the motion. The District Court recognized that Dietsch would benefit from the transfer. The District Court determined, however, that the nature of the alleged offense and the ...


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