$100,000 bail set for felon charged with child sex abuse

Thursday, April 15, 2021
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A man who was convicted of assaulting his wife with a chair in 2014 has been jailed again, this time charged with multiple child sex crimes.

David Pilcher, 52, appeared in 22nd Judicial District Court from the Gallatin County jail via video early this month on allegations that he has violated his probation by committing new crimes.

Specifically, Pilcher is charged with three felony counts of sexual abuse of children. The Stillwater County Attorney’s Office is also seeking to revoke Pilcher’s 2015 sentence on the grounds that he has violated the terms of that case by committing news crimes as well as drinking alcohol and using drugs.

Because Pilcher had not yet been assigned a public defender, Judge Matt Wald entered not guilty pleas on his behalf.

Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde successfully lobbied for bail to remain at $100,000, citing Pilcher’s criminal history in multiple states, the fact that he is a registered violent offender and a flight risk.

Pilcher himself asked Wald for a more “reasonable amount,” saying he has lived in Stillwater County since 1989, is in training for management at a fast food chain and has kids who need him here.

“I’m a burden to the community taxpayers,” said Pilcher.

Wald left bail at $100,000.

NEW CHARGES

According to court documents, in January, Pilcher allegedly uploaded the image of a young, prepubescent 12-year-old boy engaged in sexual intercourse with an adult woman. The image was allegedly uploaded via Facebook messenger and sent to a woman.

In February, Pilcher allegedly uploaded two videos to his Google account — one showed a young girl between 9 and 11 engage in sexual acts with herself and the second one showed a blind-folded 7 to 9-year-old girl performing sex acts on an adult male, according to court documents.

The case was investigated by the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office and was launched when DCI received multiple Cyber Tips.

A Cyber Tip is a reporting tool used by the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to notify law enforcement agencies of child sexual abuse material that has been reported by “any and all Electronic Service Providers (ESPs),” according to court documents.

ESPs are required federally to notify NCMEC anytime a user or account holder uploads or downloads any material deemed to be child sexual abuse material.

A search warrant was executed last month on the property where Pilcher lives in Absarokee, which revealed drug paraphernalia including needles, according to court documents. DCI agents pinged Pilcher’s cell phone and located him in Billings, driving a relative’s car.

Pilcher said he had used drugs earlier that day and also said “there could be evidence of child sexual abuse material and communication relating to such on the cellular device currently in the vehicle,” according to court documents.

Pilcher said that the phone had been stolen by a female who was looking “at stuff like that,” according to court doc uments. The phone was seized and child porn was discovered. Other phones in the car were also seized and at the time charges were filed in March, the investigation was continuing.

FELONY ASSAULT CASE

In 2015, Pilcher was sentenced to 10 years under state supervision for intentionally using a chair to inflict harm on his wife. Five of those years were suspended and he was ordered to comply with 35 court-imposed conditions.

The wife said she had been choked, hit and kicked several times throughout the night, at one point, Pilcher allegedly used a metal stool to choke her until she couldn’t breath, bending the stool rungs in the process, according to court documents.

The wife also told investigators she passed out two different times during the assaults and “honestly thought she was going to die and that he was going to kill her,” according to court documents.