State Seeks 23 Life Sentences for Billings Serial Rapist

Eugene Griego was convicted of 27 felony counts in April

By Associated Press

BILLINGS – Prosecutors are recommending 23 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for a man they called a “sadistic stalker” who was convicted of 10 counts of rape in Billings.

“If given the opportunity, the defendant will offend again. If he is ever out of custody, he will find more victims. The defendant must never come out of prison,” Chief Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Rod Souza wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday in the case against Toby Eugene Griego.

Griego, 42, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday by District Judge Russell Fagg, The Billings Gazette reported.

Griego was convicted of 27 felony counts in April for breaking into the homes of four women between January and July of last year, repeatedly raping three of them and trying to rape the fourth.

All four women testified that they awakened to a man in their bedroom. Three reported being bound and gagged and threatened with various weapons. They said they were repeatedly raped with objects the attacker found in their homes.

He hit them in the head if they tried to look at him, and they were forced to bathe or shower, they testified. Some heard clicking sounds like a camera. One woman was forced to drink large amounts of alcohol so quickly that she vomited.

One woman testified about being forced to withdraw money from an ATM. She said her attacker took her home, raped her again and dunked her in a water-filled ditch nearby.

“The crimes committed display a distinct and disturbing level of depravity that terrorized our community for months,” Souza wrote. “The victims were tortured and forced to engage in humiliating acts no human should suffer.”

During closing arguments, public defender J. Thomas Bartleson said there was no DNA or trace evidence connecting Griego to the rapes.

Investigators said Griego had shaved his head, wore a cap and gloves, and forced his victims to bathe or shower, eliminating the possibility of discovering DNA evidence or fingerprints.

A doctor who evaluated Griego found he has anti-social personality disorder and said should be designed a Level 3 sexually violent predator, meaning he is highly likely to reoffend, Souza said.

Griego was considering making a statement on Friday, Regional Deputy Public Defender David Duke told the Gazette. Griego did not testify at his trial. Duke had not filed his sentencing memorandum by Thursday morning.

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