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Whitefish rape suspect pleads guilty

Hagadone News Network | January 25, 2023 1:00 AM

A Whitefish man accused of raping a teenager last summer is looking at a partially suspended 20-year sentence in Montana State Prison.

Shane Wilson, 35, pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual intercourse without consent in Flathead County District Court last month after striking a deal with prosecutors. Judge Robert Allison accepted the guilty plea Dec. 5 and set sentencing for Feb. 16.

Under the terms of the agreement, prosecutors will recommend that Wilson receive 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended. He will not be eligible for parole before completing two phases of sex offender treatment.

Authorities began investigating Wilson after the victim’s father learned about an alleged sexual relationship between his 14-year-old daughter and an adult coworker, court documents said. Detectives with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office met with the teen, who told them that Wilson sexually assaulted her on one occasion in mid-June and raped her in mid-July, according to court documents. Both incidents occurred inside his van, which was parked near their job site, court documents said.

During a subsequent interview with detectives, Wilson allegedly corroborated the victim’s account of the two encounters and acknowledged knowing her age at the time.

Wilson remains behind bars in the county jail with bail set at $50,000.