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Bridger man handed 120-year sentence for child molestation, rape

Defense attorney says he's planning appeal
Posted at 3:20 PM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 17:20:20-04

A Bridger man was sentenced Wednesday to 120 years in prison in Carbon County District Court for crimes related to sexual abuse of a minor and raping a woman.

Gene Deveraux, 56, was convicted in July of six felonies : thee counts of sexual assault without consent, two counts of incest and one of sexual assault, according to Carbon County Attorney Alex Nixon. He will likely be eligible for parole in 25 years, when he is 81 years old.

Judge Matthew Wald sentenced Deveraux to a total of 450 years for the crimes against the girl, run concurrently. He then tacked an additional 20 years for the rape of the woman, for a total sentence of 470 years in prison.

"The community demands that cases like this are prosecuted. They demand appropriate sentences. I really have the highest regard for the law enforcement that got this done and helped us prosecute the case," Nixon said.

Deveraux's defense attorney, Colin Stephens, called the sentence "overly harsh" and said he plans to appeal to the Montana Supreme Court. He added that Deveraux pleaded not guilty at trial and maintains his innocence.

"Both he and I want to emphasize our great respect for Judge Wald and how he presided over the case. We believe the sentence is overly harsh and the conviction unjust. Gene looks forward to the appeal and eventual vindication of his claims of innocence," Stephens said in an email.

Charges were first filed in January 2017 against Deveraux in the case of raping the girl. The girl had told police Deveraux molested her for several years starting in 2005 when she was 4 years old.

She went to authorities because she learned he might be living with other young children, according to court documents.

During the course of that investigation, detectives learned of the second victim.

The woman told police she didn’t want to have sex with Deveraux because she was in pain from the pelvis and leg injuries she suffered in a car crash, according to authorities.

She told authorities he didn’t care, and she was afraid of physical retribution if she refused.

Prosecutors charged Deveraux with the second rape in March 2018.