Adam Carp

Adam Carp, left, appears Monday in Gallatin County District Court with attorney Ashley Whipple.

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A Bozeman man initially accused of raping two women was sentenced Monday to six years of probation for a lesser charge.

Adam Carp, 29, will request to move to another state for the duration of his sentence and is prohibited from having contact with the two victims. He is also required to pay $200 for stealing a Gallatin County road sign.

Carp, who appeared in Gallatin County District Court before Judge John Brown, was given credit for serving 210 days at the Gallatin County jail.

Carp pleaded guilty to felony criminal endangerment in November. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft for stealing a Gallatin County road sign.

In May, Carp was charged with assault with a weapon, two counts of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of tampering with witnesses and informants, all felonies. He was also charged with theft and partner or family member assault, both misdemeanors.

This spring, two women reported that Carp raped them in separate instances, according to charging documents. One of the victims also reported that Carp assaulted and threatened her multiple times from July 2017 to December 2018, including firing a gun at a wall to threaten her, court documents allege.

In court on Monday, one of the victims said Carp deserves more time in jail and should be required to register as a sexual offender. The woman said Carp should also be required to attend substance abuse counseling.

“The whole time we dated, drugs and alcohol fueled his rage when we were together,” she said.

Prosecutor Bjorn Boyer said the charges were amended down because victims’ statements provided to law enforcement contradicted statements they later made via blogs, podcasts, text messages and social media posts. Domestic violence and rape cases are difficult to prove, he said, and those factors added to that difficulty.

Boyer made it clear that he believed the two women and said he didn’t mention the inconsistencies to make Carp seem like a “good guy.”

“He is not,” Boyer said. He added that Carp is a “risk” to women and that the crime needed to go on Carp’s permanent record.

“I’m highlighting these things because it makes it so the state can’t prove this case, but that doesn’t mean Mr. Carp did not do these things,” Boyer said.

Ashley Whipple, Carp’s attorney, said Boyer’s comments were made for charges that no longer exist and allegations that were unfounded.

She said Boyer’s belief that Carp committed the offenses is his “subjective belief.” When prosecutors dismiss charges, Whipple said, the law requires them to believe that an offense didn’t happen.

She said it was an injustice holding Carp, a first-time felony offender, in jail for seven months for the charges. Whipple said the criminal justice system is the “best in the world,” but it depends on people doing their jobs correctly. Whipple said prosecutors need to “aggressively” investigate all evidence gathered and make an “educated charging decision.”

“The idea that individuals alleging crimes of sexual violence are somehow immune from the sixth amendment and are entitled instant belief, based only upon allegations — I don’t know when that idea got injected into our criminal justice system,” she said.

Judge Brown said it is his job to sentence Carp on the charges that he has pleaded guilty to, not previously filed charges. He said that’s what justice requires in the case and that he wasn’t criticizing anybody involved.

“Prosecutors have discretion to file charges, to dismiss charges, to reduce charges, and that’s at the prosecutor’s discretion,” Brown said.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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