McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

December 26, 2013

"Incompetent" McAlester man arrested for rape of 5-year-old

McALESTER — An “incompetent” McAlester man released after being charged with raping a 5-year-old girl was arrested and put back into jail Monday.

Monday’s arrest of Bruce Lee Montes, 25, was his second  on charges of raping a 5-year-old girl.

He was being held in the Pittsburg County Jail as of Thursday on a $150,000 bond, according to Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns.

Court records state that as a condition of his bond, he is not to have contact with minor children.

On March 21, Montes was arrested and pleaded not guilty in Pittsburg County District Court to one felony count of first-degree rape and one felony count of lewd or indecent acts to a child younger than 16, court records state.

His bond was set at $150,000 and he was not allowed to have contact with the victim, court records state.

After a competency hearing in November, the charges and court costs were dismissed after the court ruled Montes was incompetent and would not be able to attain competency. The dismissal was made at the request of Montes’ defense attorney with no objection from prosecutors with the district attorney’s office.

The case was reopened this month after a News-Capital report on the hearing revealed Montes had been charged in a similar case.

In May 2006, Montes, then 17, was charged with molestation and lewd acts to three children, ages 5, 9, and 13. Those charges were also dismissed.

District 18 District Attorney Farley Ward said once he became aware of the outcome of the hearing, he filed a motion asking the court to reevaluate the findings. The motion alleges Montes is dangerous and should be committed to a mental health facility and the charges should not have been dismissed.

“A mistake was made,” according to the motion filed in Pittsburg County District Court on Thursday by the District 18 District Attorney’s office.

Ward said the judge the case made the ruling because the State did not object to the motion to dismiss.

“The counsel for the State should have requested the Court to proceed with case ... ,” the motion states.

Ward said the prosecutor representing the District Attorney’s office at the hearing, Chuck Sullivan, has since resigned from the office.

“The defendant moved for the dismissal based on the evaluation conducted by Dr. Curtis Grundy a licensed psychologist who found that the defendant was incompetent and likely would not attain competency,” the motion states.

“The motion to dismiss should have been objected to by the State in accordance with (the law) ... so that the Court could overrule the motion to dismiss pursuant to the (law).”

Montes is dangerous, according to the definition found in the law, the motion states.

The motion asks the court to reevaluate the decision based on the law and to enter an order finding Montes as “incompetent by reason of mental retardation; that he is not likely to attain competency... that he is dangerous” in accordance with the law and the findings of Dr. Grundy.

The court motion also asks Montes be committed to the Office of Public Guardian or the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for future care and treatment.

According to the most recent allegations, McAlester police were called by the child’s mother in March after the child told another adult that she had been inappropriately touched.

The child’s mother provided Montes’ name as an “alleged perpetrator,” court records allege.

According to the court records, Montes was a roommate of the child’s uncle and the two babysat the child a few times a week.

Court records state that a child abuse medical examiner confirmed the child had been sexually abused.

According to court records, the November competency hearing was set to determine such issues as if Montes was able to appreciate the charges against him, if he was able to consult with a lawyer, if he was mentally retarded and whether (Montes) would be “presently dangerous if released.”

A working number for Montes could not be found.

A preliminary hearing conference is set for Jan. 3 at 9 a.m. in Pittsburg County District Court.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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