A Missoula man convicted of raping two 14-year-old girls when he was 21 will spend 90 days in the Missoula County jail.

Missoula County District Court Judge John Larson sentenced Shawn Lowe, 23, on Thursday to 20 years in prison, but suspended all of that but 90 days, which he said Lowe could spent in the Missoula County Detention Facility. He also designated Lowe a tier 1 sex offender, meaning that his risk of repeating the offense is low.

“I messed up big,” Lowe mumbled Thursday. “ … I’ve learned from my mistake. I hope that I and everyone else can just move on.”

Lowe pleaded guilty in June to sexual intercourse without consent in connection with assaults on the girls between December 2009 and August 2010.

According to court records, Lowe raped one of the girls after she’d consumed half of a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor. And, although he and the other girl were dating, he forced sex on that girl even after she told him she didn’t want to, according to the records.

Lowe’s attorney, Neil Leitch, told Larson that his client maintained that one of the girls consented to the sex. However, Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg said that same girl would have preferred a lengthier sentence than the one reached as part of the plea agreement.

Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, gwen.florio@missoulian.com, or @CopsAndCourts.

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