Convicted sex offender jailed for alleged violations

Ryan James Gates being held on $50,000 bond
Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, May 24, 2018

MDOC photo

Ryan James Gates

Ryan Gates was 20 years old when a string of sex crimes and probation violations led him to prison.

Five years later, Gates is behind bars again, accused of failing to comply with sex offender treatment conditions, being in an unapproved relationship with a female and having unauthorized access to the Internet in his home.

At an initial appearance in district court last week, Montana Department of Corrections Probation/Parole Officer Joe Dompier summarized the current case by saying Gates is “an untreated sex offender in the community” whose unapproved relationship is “very concerning.”

Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde told Judge Blair Jones that Gates was continuing to make contact with the female in the unapproved relationship through jail phone calls.

Jones set bail at $50,000 and told Gates that if he continues to have contact with the female, he will set bond “at a level you will not be able to post.” If Gates is able to post bond, he will have to be fitted with a GPS monitor before leaving the jail.

Gates is a Tier 2 sex offender, which means he is a moderate risk to re-offend.


In 2013, Gates was given a 5-year prison sentence after admitting to five felony sexual assaults on girls ranging in age from 16 to 12. A parole restriction was placed that required him to complete Phase 1 of the prison’s sex offender treatment program before he could be released.

“You cannot engage in immoral behavior and not be held accountable for it,” said District Judge Blair Jones at last week’s sentencing. “This kind of conduct does deserve punishment.”

For five counts of felony sexual assault, Gates total sentence was 25 years in prison with all but 5 years suspended. Jones noted there were multiple victims in the case left with possible “lifelong issues” from the case.

Gates admitted to sexually assaulting four different juvenile girls under the age of 16 during a two-year period from 2009 to 2010 in the Columbus area. One of the victims was 12, two were 13 and one was 15. Authorities said at least one of the assaults was a “violent” attack and that Gates was at least three years older than all his victims. One resulted in a pregnancy.

Under state law, a juvenile under the age of 16 cannot legally consent to sexual activity.

His fifth victim was a 12-year-old sixth grade girl to whom he sent a photo and texts to while out on bond after pleading guilty to the four felonies. Gates told the girl he wanted to have sex with her and asked her repeatedly to send him nude photos of herself, according to court documents.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation analyzed Gates’ cell phone and recovered 107 graphic files, three pornographic video files, 12 photos of females who are naked or semi-clothed, sexually related audio MP3 files, more than 300 text messages during a four-day period to a female detailing their sexual encounters and plans for future sexual encounters.

Gates fell under investigation in the course of a joint Columbus Police Department-Still-water County Sheriff’s Office investigation of a separate sexual assault case.