HAMILTON – A Stevensville man made his initial court appearance Thursday on charges that he raped a 14-year-old girl in 2006.
Michael Allen Chaplin, 46, is charged with sexual intercourse without consent and attempted sexual abuse of children, both felonies.
According to the charging affidavit, a 14-year-old girl made partial disclosures of an alleged encounter of inappropriate touching with Chaplin to her mother in 2006, who took that information to the Stevensville police. A forensic interview in Missoula was completed, but no charges were filed based on those initial disclosures.
In 2013, the girl’s mother provided a second report to the police.
The mother said her daughter – now 21 years old – told her that between that initial disclosure about inappropriate touching and prior to the forensic interview, Chaplin allegedly sexually assaulted both her and her younger sister during a sleepover at the defendant’s house.
The two girls were friends with Chaplin’s daughter at the time.
The affidavit alleges that Chaplin had provided the girls with alcohol and then sexually assaulted them.
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The affidavit also contained allegations that Chaplin provided cellphones to both the 14-year-old girl and her friend of the same age.
During an interview in April of this year with an investigator in the Ravalli County Attorney’s Office, the women reported that Chaplin sent text messages to them, asking for photographs of themselves unclothed, according to the affidavit. When they refused, the women said Chaplin allegedly threatened to kill both of the girls and told them he knew the locations of their bedrooms and then described what the interiors of their rooms looked like.
One of the women told the investigator that Chaplin would park between the two girls’ homes for long periods of time.
A review of phone records found the phones used by the girls were in Chaplin’s name.
Between July 24, 2007, and July 25, 2007, Chaplin made or received 140 calls from his cellphone and sent or received 3,396 text messages. The affidavit said the majority of those calls and text messages were made to the two girls and one other number that has yet to be identified.
Ravalli County District Court Judge James Haynes continued Chaplin’s bail at $60,000.