Polson Man Admits to Not Registering as Sex Offender

By Beacon Staff

A Polson man who failed to register as a sexual offender when he moved to Kalispell and taught ballet lessons changed his plea to guilty on April 30.

Donald Stanfield, 27, admitted to not registering with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office from September 2011 to April 2012. The sex offender status stems from a 2007 admission to felony sexual assault.

According to the charging documents from 2006, prosecutors said that Stanfield molested and sexually abused a girl for eight years, beginning when she was 7 years old. Another girl also reported sexual abuse by Stanfield, and investigators said he admitted to the sexual contact with both children.

Under his probation conditions, Stanfield was not to have contact alone with any girl under the age of 18, in work or a social situation, without another adult who knows about his offense present and prior written consent from his probation officer or therapist.

He was also required to report to his probation officer about where he lived and get approval if he decided to move. Stanfield was also supposed to disclose his status as a probationer to his employer.

While in the Flathead, Stanfield attended Flathead Valley Community College and taught lessons at a local ballet studio, where his students ranged from 3 to 18 years old. There was no evidence that he had inappropriate contact with any of the students.

As part of a plea deal in his original case, Stanfield pleaded guilty to sexual assault, and two rape charges were dropped. He received a six-year deferred sentence on Jan. 10, 2008.

The failure to register charge is a felony, and after Stanfield entered his guilty plea, District Court Judge Ted O. Lympus revoked Stanfield’s deferred sentence from the 2007 sentencing.

Lympus scheduled a dispositional hearing and a hearing for aggravating or mitigating of Stanfield’s sentence for June 20. Stanfield was released on his own recognizance under conditions imposed by the court.

According to the Montana Department of Justice’s sexual and violent offender registry, Stanfield was last registered as living in Polson.

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