Convicted sexual assaulter booted from sex offender treatment program, jailed
One year ago, Justin McCally stood in a Stillwater County courtroom and got the break of a lifetime.
After pleading guilty to felony sexual assault involving a young girl, McCally was given a 6-year deferred sentence. That meant he had the chance to clear his record of the crime if he stayed out of trouble for that time period and followed all of the court-ordered conditions.
Authorities say that hasn’t happened.
Last Thursday, McCally was once again in court — handcuffed and shackled — accused of seven separate probation violations that culminated in him being terminated from the mandatory sex offender treatment program in which he was enrolled.
“Justin has been engaged in a series of dishonest behaviors in the community. His progress is poor. At this time, he appears to require a higher level of care to ensure community safety and his successful completion of treatment,” according to a report from South Central Treatment Associates in Billings that is part of the case file.
The letter also notes that when confronted about the “dishonest behaviors,” McCally said he had “stopped taking treatment seriously.”
At last Thursday’s court hearing, McCally declined having the allegations read aloud in open court.
According to a letter and other court documents, the allegations are as follows:
-Cancelling treatment appointments due to “illness” when he was not, in fact, ill.
-Being present at parties with “minor-aged” alcohol consumption.
-Frequent unapproved contact (including physical contact) with a 5-year-old female.
-Traveling outside his approved travel area without approval.
-Staying overnight at his girlfriend’s home without prior authorization.
-Having surveillance cameras at his home that were observed by his Department of Corrections (DOC) Probation Officer Krystal Stevenson.
“Justin’s disregard for his treatment and probation conditions, and his unapproved contact with minor-aged children suggest that he is presently at a heightened risk to re-offend sexually. It appears that Justin requires a higher level of supervision in order to ensure community safety,” according to the letter from South Central Treatment Associates.
McCally’s bail is set at $50,000, which defense attorney Greg Paskell did not challenge, saying he needed to speak with McCally’s family to see how much they could afford.
McCally fell under investigation in 2015 when the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Department of Public Health and Human Services (Child Protection Services) regarding a report of sexual and physical assaults of a minor filed by a school counselor, according to court documents.
The victim told investigators that the assaults began when she was in the third or fourth grade and included her having her hands and mouth duct-taped at times. Prosecutors had contended that McCally “brutally tortured and used horrific acts of violence” to keep the victim compliant, which included hitting, punching and choking the victim, as well as allegedly holding her head under “dangerously hot water,” according to court documents.
McCally was a juvenile when the crime was committed but unsuccessfully sought to have the case tried in Youth Court based on the following factors (according to Jones’ ruling) :
•A psychosexual evaluation that classified McCally as a Level 2 offender, meaning he is at moderate risk to reoffend. Also, the evaluator noted that the areas of concern identified are “very serious compared to other juvenile offenders he has dealt with,” according to the ruling.
•Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office Chief Investigator Woody Claunch characterized the crimes as being “heinous” with homicide being the only crime worse.
•Chief Juvenile Probation Officer Lindsey Fox said the Youth Court system would not have any services available to McCally even if the case was transferred to the Youth Court’s jurisdiction because he had turned 18 and was therefore ineligible for any services.
•Montana Department of Corrections Probation/Parole Officer Rita Frost said she believed that if convicted, McCally will be required to complete a sex offender treatment program, which normally takes from five to eight years for all three phases of that program. In the Youth Court system, McCally would be under supervision for a maximum of just seven years.