Convicted sex offender draws prison term

Harlan Hinkle must complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the prison’s sex offender treatment program before he can be considered for parole
Thursday, July 23, 2020
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A convicted rapist who has already spent time in state custody for the rapes of three girls was ordered to prison last week for multiple probation violations.

Harlan Hinkle, 25, appeared via video from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility last week and asked District Court Judge Matt Wald for a 20-year sentence, with 15 years suspended, with the hope of being placed at a pre-release center.

Wald declined.

“That opportunity was provided to you,” Wald said in reference to Hinkle’s chance to stay out of prison.

Wald revoked the initial 2015 sentence and imposed a 20-year sentence to the Montana State Prison, with 10 years suspended, and a parole restriction that requires Hinkle to complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the prison’s sexual offender treatment program prior to being released. Hinkle’s initial sentence had been a 25-year commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections with all but five years suspended.

The new parole restriction came at the recommendation of widely respected sexual offender treatment specialist Mike Sullivan, who conducted a psychosexual evaluation on Hinkle.

Upon release from prison, Hinkle will be required to enroll in an outpatient treatment program, as well as abide by more than 55 court-imposed conditions.

Wald said the seriousness of the case and Hinkle’s failure to follow court orders made him “too big of a risk for the court to take.”

The sentence provided for treatment, accountability and community safety. Wald also noted that Hinkle’s probation officer considers him a danger to the community.

It was the sentence recommended by Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde.

At Hinkle’s 2015 sentence, he designated as a Level 2 sexual offender, which means he is at moderate risk to reoffend.​ That designation remains in place.

Hinkle had been in jail since January 2020, when he was arrested on the violations. Some of those violations included refusing to find an approved job, getting kicked out of Sober Living and living with a relative who has small children.

Hinkle’s criminal history also includes a felony sexual intercourse without consent conviction in Yellowstone County for a 2014 crime, according to the Montana Department of Corrections.

THE CASE

Hinkle’s crimes were committed in 2013 and by his own admission, included the following:​

•He gave a 13-year-old girl marijuana and raped her, as she pleaded for him to stop.​

•A 14-year-old tried to stop the attack but gave up when Hinkle threatened that he would go after anyone she told the rape about. ​

•The third victim, also 14, said she was a willing sex partner, although state law prevents her from giving consent due to her young age.​

•And then there’s the 6-year-old he sexually assaulted in Yellowstone County.​

For the three felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent in Stillwater County, Hinkle was given a 25-year sentence to the Department of Corrections with all but five years suspended.​

Under the terms of the original plea agreement, Hinkle was to be recommended for placement at a pre-release center and required to complete sex offender treatment and any aftercare programs recommended.​

The terms of his probation also prohibited Hinkle from living in the same home as minor children and from dating women with minor children. He also will be forbidden from having any contact with minors and will not be allowed Internet access through a phone or computer.