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December 18, 2013

Officials reopen child rape case

McALESTER — Officials are taking a second look at competency involving a McAlester man who had been charged in the rape of a 5-year-old girl.

In March, Bruce Lee Montes, 25, was charged in Pittsburg County District Court with 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.

On Nov. 22, Special District Court Judge Tim Mills ruled after a hearing in Pittsburg County District Court that Montes was incompetent and would not be able to obtain competency, according to court records. He dismissed the case at the request of Montes’ defense attorney. The prosecutor in the case did not object to the dismissal, according to court records.

District 18 District Attorney Farley Ward said Wednesday he is filing a motion to ask the judge to set aside the dismissal and to consider placing Montes in a treatment facility or to be monitored.

“This is something that should have been done in the first place,” Ward said. “The assistant DA (Chuck Sullivan) should have asked the judge to do what we are going to do. Apparently that didn’t happen.”

Sullivan left the DA’s office last month.

This is the second time Montes has been charged with sexual assault of a child. In May 2006, Montes, then 17, was charged with molestation and lewd acts to three other children ages 5, 9, and 13.

Those charges were also dismissed.

According to court records, the children and six others were all living with Montes, identified as a relative of the children, along with their mother and Montes’ father.

In the most recent case, McAlester police were called by the child’s mother in March after the child told another adult 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 sexual abused.

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

The incompetency ruling also included a finding that Montes could not attain competency.

Montes’ attorney Jeff Contreras said Tuesday that although he could not comment specifically on this case, in general when a person is found unable to return to competency they do not receive any further treatment.

“This was an I.Q. issue,” Contreras said.

On Wednesday, Ward said the new motion to set aside the dismissal would be filed in Pittsburg County District Court by today and a hearing date would be set with Judge Mills.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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