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Lodge Grass man sentenced for decades-old sex crimes against minors

Posted at 8:12 AM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 10:12:27-04

BILLINGS — A Lodge Grass man who was convicted by a jury of sexually abusing two children in the 1990s on the Northern Cheyenne and the Crow Indian reservations was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said in a news release.

Donald Ray Gardner, 58, was found guilty on two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of abusive sexual contact in October 2021.

The government alleged at trial that Gardner sexually abused two young girls over multiple occasions. Gardner engaged in a sexual act and in sexual contact with a victim, identified as Jane Doe 1, in 1994 in Lame Deer, on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.

The government further alleged Gardner engaged in a sexual act and in sexual contact with another victim, identified as Jane Doe 2, in the Crow Agency area on the Crow Reservation in 1996 and in 1998. Both victims were under the age of 12 at the time.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.