MISSOULA – A Missoula man charged with rape is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl, which is below the age of consent for sex in Montana.
Mark A. McNeeley, Jr, 20, is charged with felony sexual intercourse without consent.
Court documents state that on March 12 Missoula Police Detective Connie Brueckner was assigned to review a case involving a sexual relationship between a 15-year-old girl and then 19-year-old Mark McNeeley.
Brueckner spoke to Jane Doe’s mother and set up a First Step interview with the girl. During that interview, Jane Doe said she made contact with McNeeley by text messages, which she said then turned into flirting.
Jane Doe told authorities she was in a relationship with McNeeley for about a month, having sexual intercourse more than once.
Detective Brueckner reviewed text messages between the two where they discussed concerns about Jane Doe’s age. On Feb. 16 at 2:45 p.m. McNeeley messaged Doe and noted “there’s only one thing stopping me from wanting to make it official.”
Doe asked what was stopping him, and McNeeley responded “1 5….cuz [sic] of [Doe] I have had to be a little more cautious.”
When Detective Brueckner questioned McNeeley, he acknowledged engaging in sexual intercourse on more than one occasion but said the thought Doe was 16 years old.
When Detective Brueckner confronted McNeeley about prior messages between the two, specifically him talking to Doe about being under 16, he suggested that maybe someone else sent the messages from his phone.
If convicted, McNeeley could face up to 20 years in the Montana State Prison and a $50,000 fine.
Reporting by Melissa Rafferty for MTN News