BOZEMAN – A Bozeman man awaiting sentencing for sexual assault charges from 2016 entered a plea of not guilty on Tuesday to a new rape charge stemming from a woman he allegedly met in December on the dating app Tinder.

Trendton Lee Dillingham, 26, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a felony drug charge and two misdemeanor charges of sexual assault and is due to be sentenced in March.

Dillingham now faces a felony charge of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent, after a woman claims he raped her after meeting online on Tinder.

In 2016, an 18-year-old woman claimed Dillingham raped her after they consumed alcohol and drugs together.

Story continues below

Last month, a woman reported to Bozeman police that after meeting Dillingham online and exchanging phone numbers, he raped her following a dinner date.

According to court documents, Dillingham took the woman to dinner in December 2017 then invited her back to his residence so he could sing for her. The woman agreed and described Dillingham as singing a rap-song he had written that was sexually explicit in nature.

After Dillingham had finished singing, the woman stated that he offered her marijuana, which she declined, and Dillingham then went into his bedroom to smoke with his roommate who had just arrived home.

When Dillingham returned, court documents state he invited the woman into his bedroom to watch a movie. The woman said she agreed and noted that Dillingham locked the door, which she found odd.

The woman reported that Dillingham insisted on giving her a massage, removed her shirt, began rubbing her back, and eventually unfastened her bra. She said she made multiple attempts to sit up but was pushed down with increasing force each time.

Dillingham allegedly continued to remove the woman’s clothes despite her telling him no, she said. She noted having been sexually assaulted in the past and, as she was internally processing what was happening, feared physical assault if she refused Dillingham’s demands.

The woman claims Dillingham removed his pants and began to have intercourse with her while she continued to tell him no. Each time she told Dillingham to stop, the woman said, he replied “shhh, it’s okay.”

According to the woman, Dillingham also put his hand around her throat and choked her, asking “oh, do you like that?” She said she tried telling him she couldn’t breathe and was finally able to push him off her.

The woman said she was able to leave Dillingham’s residence as he fell asleep following the alleged assault and reported it to a friend that night.

In late January, court documents state a Bozeman police detective contacted Dillingham and explained what the woman had alleged. The detective said Dillingham was initially evasive then admitted to having met and “hung out” with the woman.

He reportedly denied that they had intercourse and only “played around”, then said he didn’t want to speak further without an attorney and hung up the phone.

Dillingham appeared in District Court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the felony sexual assault charge. Judge Holly Brown scheduled a status hearing for March 20 and continued his bail at $20,000. If he is able to post that amount, he must submit to GPS monitoring and testing for drugs and alcohol, and he is to have no contact with the alleged victim.

LEAVE A REPLY