Victor man charged with sexual intercourse without consent

PERRY BACKUS - RAVALLI REPUBLIC

A 19-year-old Victor man was charged Wednesday with sexual intercourse without consent for allegedly having sex last April with a 13-year-old girl who, by law, is incapable of providing consent.

Tyler Daniel Caige Cunningham appeared before Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray Wednesday on the felony charge and a misdemeanor count of unlawful transactions with children.

Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright’s charging affidavit said Cunningham was 18 years old at the time of the incident and the girl was an eighth grade student.

The affidavit said the incident occurred when the girl stayed overnight at the home of a female friend.

The parents of that 14-year-old friend told investigators that three girls and Cunningham had spent the night of April 21, 2018, in a Toyota 4Runner parked in the backyard of their residence. Two deputies observed vomit inside the vehicle and empty containers of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Twisted Tea alcohol beverages.

The girl who lived at the home where the Toyota 4Runner was parked told investigators that Cunningham had come to her home on April 21 and had brought a six-pack of the alcoholic beverages, the affidavit said. She said the 13-year-old had consumed a couple of the beverages and had started vomiting.

The girl said that all four had fallen asleep in the vehicle. She told investigators that her friend had awakened her to report that she had “lost her virginity.”

The 13-year-old was examined at First Step Resource Center at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. During that examination, a forensic nurse collected rape kit swabs.

A forensic interview was completed at Emma’s House Child Advocacy Center in Hamilton on April 27.

According to the affidavit, during that the interview the girl said she had been hanging out at her friend’s home when Cunningham had come over with a couple of his friends. She said all of the individuals were smoking marijuana and that Cunningham had left and returned with alcohol.

She admitted to drinking alcohol. She said she vomited and had become “drunk.” The affidavit said the girl disclosed that Cunningham had intercourse with her and that she was concerned because she did not believe he had used a condom.

On May 3, a detective interviewed Cunningham.

After receiving a Miranda warning, Cunningham admitted to knowing the youth for a couple of years. He also admitted that he had spent the night and had smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol.

He denied providing the alcohol or having sexual intercourse with the under-aged girl.

The Montana State Crime Lab conducted DNA testing from the swabs collected from the alleged victim. The DNA matched Cunningham.

Ray set bail at $25,000.

Lisa DeMoss