Kalispell Man Sentenced to 200 Years in Child Rape Case

By Beacon Staff

KALISPELL (AP) – A former daycare operator already serving a 30-year federal sentence for child pornography charges has been sentenced to 200 years in state prison for raping four young boys.

James M. Thorne, 42, was sentenced Thursday by District Judge Ted Lympus.

Thorne pleaded guilty in November 2006 to four counts of sexual intercourse without consent involving young boys. Lympus sentenced Thorne to 50 years on each count.

The state sentence will run concurrently with the 30-year federal term Thorne received in December for sexual exploitation of children and receipt and possession of child pornography. Prosecutors said Thorne photographed young boys in their underwear and then sold the clothing on eBay. He also took pornographic pictures and recorded videos of boys in his care, prosecutors said.

Thorne will serve his sentences at the Montana State Prison.

Authorities allege the sexual assaults occurred between January 2002 and August 2006, and that at least four boys between the ages of 8 and 15 were involved.

Thorne has said the assaults occurred at his house, where he and his wife operated a daycare.

Flathead County authorities began investigating Thorne in August 2006 after the mother of a 2-year-old child who attended the daycare reported her son may have been sexually assaulted.

While a state Department of Public Health and Human Services worker was at Thorne’s house establishing a safety plan for foster children placed with the Thornes, his mother-in-law told the social worker that Thorne had admitted taking nude pictures of young boys, court records said.