Aliea Rose Brown

Aliea Rose Brown

A registered sex offender has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to felony rape for having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

On Monday, Gallatin County District Judge Rienne McElyea sentenced 28-year-old Aliea Rose Brown to 10 years at the Montana State Prison after she pleaded guilty to felony sexual intercourse without consent.

Brown has been in the Gallatin County jail since her arrest in November 2016. She received credit for 362 days already served on the charge.

Gallatin County Deputy Attorney Bjorn Boyer requested a 15-year prison sentence with five of those years suspended.

Defense attorney Kristen Mull Core had asked the judge for a deferred or a suspended sentence for Brown.

Brown has taken responsibility for her actions, Core argued. Brown is remorseful and did not intend to hurt the girl, wishing her to have “a happy, healthy and successful life,” Core wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

“She acknowledges that, although she loved (the victim), she should have waited to engage in a sexual relationship with (her) until such a time that she was mature enough to engage in such a relationship,” Core wrote.

Brown, a transgender woman who was previously known as Albert Brown, has a prior conviction for sexual intercourse without consent after being convicted of the crime as a juvenile in 2005. She was registered as a level-two sex offender, considered a moderate risk to reoffend.According to charging documents in the latest case:

In October, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office began investigating reports that a 15-year-old girl was having a sexual relationship with Brown.

Brown told a detective that she had become “like sisters” with the teenage girl and her mom, who Brown was staying with at the time.

Initially denying having a romantic relationship with the girl, Brown eventually admitted that they were in a relationship and that she had consent from the girl’s parents to date her.

Brown admitted to having sex with the girl multiple times. “I know it’s illegal,” she reportedly told a detective.

The detective spoke with the girl, who also initially denied having a relationship with Brown. But when the detective told the girl what Brown had divulged, she became emotional and admitted the two had been sexually involved, also saying she believed it was OK as long as she had parental consent.

The girl’s mother talked to investigators, saying she consented to her daughter’s relationship with Brown. She said she researched online and believed it was OK for Brown and the teenage girl to be in a romantic relationship as long as they had parental permission. She said she knew Brown was a sex offender.

The mother, who lived in Belgrade, was later charged with felony accountability for sexual intercourse without consent for allowing the relationship. She was also charged with felony custodial interference.

As part of a plea agreement, in March the mother pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of children and obstructing a public servant. She received a six-month suspended sentence and was ordered to complete 20 hours of community service.

The Chronicle is not naming the mother to protect the identity of the victim.

Whitney Bermes can be reached at wbermes@dailychronicle.com or 582-2648. Follow her on Twitter at @wabermes.

Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Subscribers get full, survey-free access to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's award-winning coverage both on our website and in our e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition.