Sex offender jailed after getting booted from treatment program

By: 
Marlo Pronovost
Thursday, January 16, 2020
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An untreated sex offender has been jailed on $50,000 bond for probation violations that include his alleged termination from a treatment program for having contact with children and also for drinking alcohol.​

Harlan Timothy Hinkle, who turns 25 this month, appeared in 22nd Judicial District Court last Thursday and denied the probation violations.​

Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde successfully lobbied to have Hinkle’s $50,000 bail amount remain in place, telling Judge Matt Wald that Hinkle has also been allegedly non-compliant by refusing to find an approved job, getting kicked out of Sober Living and for living with a relative who has small children.​

Defense attorney Greg Paskell asked for an own recognizance release, saying he believed a Billings treatment center would accept Hinkle.

Rohde countered that the treatment center Paskell had referred to had already kicked Hinkle out, as had a treatment facility in Helena, because of Hinkle’s alleged contact with minor children.​

As of Wednesday, Hinkle remained in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility.​

Hinkle was originally sentenced in December 2015 and designated as a Level 2 sexual offender, which means he is at moderate risk to reoffend.​

At that time, then Judge Blair Jones told Hinkle that his “abhorrent” conduct had probably earned him a place at the Montana State Prison. But Jones was unwilling to send a 19-year-old to what he called such a “predatory” environment.​

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. Hinkle will also be subject to polygraph tests.​

The last thing Jones told Hinkle was ominous.​

“Your life depends on this,” Jones told Hinkle of abiding by all the court-imposed conditions.

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