Woman pleads not guilty to endangering child and evidence tampering

GREAT FALLS – A woman in Great Falls pleaded not guilty to charges she faces in connection with a house party rape last month.

Nicole Robinson Downs pleaded not guilty in Great Falls on Thursday to charges of tampering with evidence (felony), obstructing justice (felony) and endangering the welfare of a child (misdemeanor).

The other suspect involved in the case, Khalil Cornel Stinson has been charged with raping a 14-year-old girl. He appeared in court earlier this month.

Police officers were called to a party at a residence on the 200 block of 19th Avenue NW at 4:19 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, which reportedly involved juveniles and alcohol. Court documents allege that Downs, the owner of the home, knew of the party and was drinking with the juveniles.

Downs, 37 years old, reportedly refused to let officers inside her home initially, stating that she hates cops and did not want to talk.

Court documents allege that Downs answered the door holding a Coors Light and told two officers, “I don’t play games. I don’t talk to cops,” and then slammed the door.

At the party, some of the juveniles went upstairs at some point and told Downs and her boyfriend that an adult man at the party was having sex with a 14-year-old girl (identified as Doe in court documents) in one of the downstairs bedrooms. The man was later identified as 21-year-old Stinson. Doe was reportedly “highly intoxicated.”

Court documents say Downs’ boyfriend went downstairs and forced entry into the locked bedroom, where he saw Stinson having sex with Doe. Court documents say that Stinson was “chased out of the residence” and later arrested nearby.

The victim was taken to an emergency room but told officers that she could not remember what happened. Court documents note that she was still intoxicated at the emergency room.

Two witnesses at the party told officers that they saw Stinson having sex with Doe, and heard sounds “consistent with sexual intercourse” within the room.

When he was interviewed, Stinson initially denied having sex with Doe, but eventually admitted that he did. He also admitted that he knew she was 14 years old and that she was drunk.

Court documents also say Stinson has charges in Michigan for possession of cocaine, heroin or another narcotic. Prosecutors requested that bond for Stinson be set at $50,000.


Downs’ trial has been scheduled for Feb. 12.