BILLINGS – The former Bureau of Indian Affairs officer who admitted he impregnated a woman in Lame Deer after he coerced her into having sex with him under the threat of arrest was sentenced Thursday to federal prison.
Dana Bullcoming, 43, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Billings to three years in federal prison on one count of deprivation of rights under the law.
Two counts of making a false statement to a federal officer were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Prosecutors described in their sentencing memorandum how Bullcoming abused his power as a law enforcement officer to coerce a woman into having unprotected sex with him.
“Something had to be done,” Bullcoming told the victim when he came to her house in the middle of the night.
Bullcoming threatened the woman, telling her he would report her to social services and arrest her for child endangerment because she was intoxicated in her home with her children asleep in another room.
The woman complied and had sex with Bullcoming because she was afraid to lose her new job and custody of her children, according to court documents.
The woman became pregnant after having sex with Bullcoming.
“(The victim) was in a position that day that no person should ever face – have sex with an officer or go to jail,” prosecutors argued in their sentencing memorandum. “Police officers are integral in our society. When one of our own, an officer with years of experience, breaks this trust the repercussions are substantial.”
Prosecutors added that the impacts to the victim are likely “everlasting.”
Prosecutors had requested a sentence of 10 years in prison but Judge Susan Watters opted for the lesser sentence recommended by the defense.
Bullcoming’s attorney noted that a psychosexual evaluator deemed Bullcoming a low risk offender, meaning he is unlikely to commit a similar crime in the future.
Reporting by Aja Goare for MTN News