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Law

Missoula County prosecutors have moved to dismiss a child sex abuse case after the defendant, Samuel Preisler, was declared dead last week.

Preisler's death appeared to be a suicide, the Missoula County Sheriff's and Coroner's Office confirmed Wednesday. He was 49. 

Preisler, of Clinton, was charged in December with sexual abuse of a child. Charging documents alleged he groped a 17-year-old as he was teaching the teenager how to drive.

The girl later told a Missoula County Sheriff's deputy Preisler had done similar things in the past, once disrupted by the girl's mother. Preisler had entered a treatment facility for "addictions to sex and porn" during the month of November, charging documents state. 

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Preisler, most recently employed as vice president of client services at a Missoula software company, had been out on bail after posting a $250,000 bond. 

A Missoula County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said Preisler is believed to have died May 21. He was found May 22. Deputy Missoula County Attorney Selene Koepke filed the motion to dismiss the case the next day.

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