A Missoula County sheriff’s deputy has been fired for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl, Sheriff Carl Ibsen announced Thursday.
The relationship between the girl and Deputy Larry Schwindt began when she was 16 and continued for nearly a year, according to Sheriff’s Detective Jason Johnson. Schwindt is 30, he said.
Schwindt had been with the department for a little more than two years, according to the news release issued by Ibsen.
The Sheriff’s Office is conducting two investigations into the alleged relationship, Ibsen said. One is administrative, through the Professional Standards Division, while the other is being conducted through the Detective Division for potential criminal violations.
“He was terminated because of this conduct revealed (during) the investigation, not for criminal charges, which haven’t been filed,” Johnson said. “That investigation is in the beginning stages.”
Under Montana law, a person can be charged with sexual assault or sexual intercourse without consent when the alleged victim is under age 16, or the alleged offender is three years or more older.
The nature of the relationship between Schwindt and the girl was not specified, and Ibsen said additional information could not be released at this time so as to not compromise the investigations and to protect the victim’s identity.
Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, email@example.com, or @CopsAndCourts.