Friday, December 16, 2011

Leslie Jon Claassen Sentenced in U.S. District Court

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings on December 14, 2011, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, LESLIE JON CLAASSEN, a 50-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. CLAASSEN was sentenced to a term of:

■Prison: 240 months, to run consecutively to a revocation on state charges
■Special Assessment: $100
■Supervised Release: life

CLAASSEN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to receipt of child pornography.

In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On December 15, 2010, Montana Probation and Parole officers conducted an unannounced home visit on CLAASSEN, who was on state parole for sexual abuse of children out of Hill County in 2005.

CLAASSEN was residing at a local motel in Billings upon his release from Montana State Prison in August of 2010, and was in sexual offender treatment. In his room, the officers found a printer of a type that is usually attached to a computer. CLAASSEN was not permitted to have a computer by the terms of his supervision. He admitted that he had gotten the printer to print out sexually explicit pictures of children. CLAASSEN also had numerous children’s dolls, and printed pictures of female children engaged in sexually explicit activity. Many of the pictures were of preteen girls wearing undergarments that exposed their genitals, while others were pictures of adults engaged in sexual intercourse with preteen girls. CLAASSEN also had stories he had written fantasizing about having sex with children. CLAASSEN reported that he had received the child pornography pictures from a flash drive he got from someone he claimed he worked with after his release from prison in August.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that CLAASSEN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, CLAASSEN does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Billings Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

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