Polson Man Charged with Raping Missoula Woman

By Beacon Staff

MISSOULA — A Polson man is charged with pretending to be his friend, going as far as putting on the man’s deodorant, in an attempt to rape the friend’s sleeping girlfriend.

Vaughn David James, 39, appeared in court Monday where Justice of the Peace John Odlin ordered him held on $250,000 bail on a charge of sexual intercourse without consent, the Missoulian reported Wednesday.

His court appearance in Missoula came just days after a Lake County jury could not reach a verdict after a three-day trial on another rape charge against James. In that case, James was charged with entering a Pablo woman’s home at 4 a.m. on June 24 and raping her.

James had been released from prison on May 17. Missoula County prosecutors allege he spent that night with a friend and the friend’s girlfriend.

Court records allege the woman went to bed and the two men stayed up talking. Sometime after midnight, a man she thought was her boyfriend came into the bedroom and started to have sex with her while “she was disoriented and half-asleep.”

The woman realized the man wasn’t her boyfriend when she reached up and touched his face, court records said.

The boyfriend ordered James out of the house and drove him to a convenience store, where he had to physically kick him out of his pickup. A few hours later, the boyfriend and his father chased James away from the woman’s house.

Public defender Russell LaFontaine sought to have James released on bail Monday, noting that he is a lifelong Montana resident and has family in Polson.

“Those things may be true,” Odlin said, “but I think there is somewhat of a risk to community safety.”

Odlin set James’ next court appearance for Nov. 29.

Lake County officials say James is scheduled to be retried on the Pablo rape case in March.

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