Indian reservation

Wolf Point man guilty of rape and assault on Fort Peck Indian reservation


A Wolf Point man was convicted of rape and assault on Thursday after a two-day trial and more than five hours of jury deliberation in U.S. district court.

Law enforcement arrested Luke John Scott, Sr., 33, in July 2017, for luring a woman by the river near Poplar on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, strangling and raping her.

Scott was charged with aggravated sexual assault and assault with intent to commit murder. The jury acquitted him of the second count, but found him guilty of assaulting with bodily harm for strangulation.

The misdemeanor charge is a lesser offense included in the assault charge and the jury can convict either one.

The victim, 50, testified that she was drinking with relatives on the afternoon of July 7 and that at one point she had a verbal argument with a woman at Tande grocery store.

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Later that evening, she met Scott, who told her he had a bottle of vodka and was heading to the river to see his mother.

She testified that she went with Scott because she was related to Scott through her mother.

When the two got to the riverside, there was no one else around, and Scott told the victim that the woman she had argued with earlier had “touched” her.

Scott put an arm around the woman’s throat from behind and placed a hand over her mouth. The woman fired back and tried to remove Scott’s hand from her face.

She testified that Scott then pulled his pants down and raped her.

After the rape, Scott pulled the woman on the embankment by the arm, telling her he was in trouble because he hadn’t “finished” her.

The woman went to a local bar and called 911.

Scott represented himself at trial and his cross-examination of the victim raised numerous hearsay objections. On several occasions, US District Judge Brian Morris had to prevent Scott from entering evidence without a proper basis.

Scott mentioned that the victim did not mention sexual assault in his 911 call and claimed that she was not related to him.

He also asked about an alleged relationship between him and the victim’s 14-year-old daughter when he was 20.

The woman said she was not involved in raising this girl and only knew about the alleged relationship after the assault.

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Kalah Paisley showed the jury more than a dozen photos of injuries documented by the nurse examiner in the sexual assault case to the neck, face, arms and legs of the victim.

Fort Peck Tribal Police Coretta Greybear, Fort Peck Tribal Criminal Investigator Sean Redboy and FBI Agent Craig Overby have all testified to their involvement in the investigation.

When police arrived to arrest Scott, he was at the sink washing his hands up to his elbows and admitted he had washed his genitals as well.

Scott initially denied any contact with the victim, but when told he was under arrest for rape, he claimed he and the woman proposed him and had sex consensual sex.

He told investigators he had sex several days ago with the same woman who argued with the victim earlier today. He said the two were in a relationship.

During Greybear’s testimony, Scott asked if the victim had reported what time the assault had occurred and again referred to his family relationship with the victim.

Overby said Scott told him he and the victim found an abandoned blue car and had sex in the back seat. Overby found two blue cars in the area, but neither matched Scott’s description.

Scott testified in his own defense, offering his side of events in narrative form. The testimony overturned several statements he made during the investigation.

At the stand, he denied any relationship between him and the woman who allegedly asked him to kill the victim. He also denied having sex of any kind with the victim.

Scott described a number of evidence collected by law enforcement but not presented at trial, including DNA swabs, his Facebook history, and interviews with people who saw him on the day of the trial. ‘incident.

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He said he cooperated with the police and “told them what they wanted to hear,” including his retracted statements, in exchange for a promised polygraph test. Law enforcement witnesses denied promising Scott a polygraph, and his taped interviews contained no such promise.

Scott told jurors that he went fishing that day with his mother and brother, but spent much of the day wandering around Poplar looking for them after returning to the river and them. to have found parties.

He said he had met the victim on several occasions but only spoke to him with her.

The charge ended by accusing Scott of denying the victim’s humanity and Scott claiming that he was being prosecuted without sufficient evidence outside of the victim’s testimony.

Scott said the victim had a vendetta against him and decided to wrongly charge him in retaliation for the alleged relationship with his daughter.

The judge set Scott’s sentence for March 24, the same day he was sentenced in another case.

Scott was convicted in November 2020 of assault causing grievous bodily harm and child abuse for assaulting a school-aged child with repeated blunt trauma to the face and strangulation.

Scott could face life in prison for rape and 10 years for life for child abuse.

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Criminal justice reporter Traci Rosenbaum reports on law enforcement issues for the Tribune. Contact her at trosenbaum@greatfallstribune.com or 406-791-1490.

Follow her on Twitter @GFTrib_TRosenba.

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