Flathead County Man Convicted of Assault Denies Intimidating Officials

Convicted of sexual assault in 1995, Dale Michael Hanson allegedly said he was going to kill judges, assaults

By Justin Franz
Dale Hanson appears in Flathead County District Court on Oct. 6, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

A Flathead County man convicted of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy in the 1990s has denied allegations that he sent letters to law enforcement officials threating to kill the people who put him behind bars.

Dale Michael Hanson served 10 years in prison after he was convicted in 1995 of sexual assault and deviant sexual conduct, but maintained his innocence for more than two decades. Since his release in 2005, Hanson has refused to register as a sex offender.

Earlier this year, Hanson allegedly sent letters to the U.S. Marshals Service in Missoula and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office in Kalispell stating he was going to “start killing people to get public attention” and “have my revenge” for his conviction. Hanson’s letter listed multiple Flathead County employees, attorneys and judges as people he wanted killed.

Hanson was arrested in August on charges of failure to register as a sexual offender and intimidation, both felonies. Hanson pleaded not guilty to both charges at an arraignment in Flathead County District Court on Oct. 6 before Judge Heidi Ulbricht.

During the hearing, Hanson was subdued and only briefly spoke with his attorney, Sean Hinchey.

Hanson is set to go to trial in January 2017.

According to court documents, Hanson forced his girlfriend’s young son to touch his penis and perform oral sex on him in 1991 and 1992. A jury found Hanson guilty in March 1995 and in July of that year he was sentenced to 20 years in the Montana State Prison with 10 years suspended.

Four years after his release in 2005, local law enforcement discovered that Hanson, who had moved back to Flathead County, had never registered as a sexual offender. In September 2009, Deputy Flathead County Attorney Lori Adams filed felony charges of failure to register as a sexual offender against Hanson.

In 2015, Hanson filed a petition for post-conviction relief with the Montana Supreme Court in which he continued to insist he was innocent. Hanson, who was represented by attorneys from the Montana Innocence Project, argued that prosecutors suppressed evidence that was favorable to Hanson during the 1995 trial. The motion also stated that the detective leading up the case against Hanson had interfered with witnesses who wanted to testify on Hanson’s behalf. The Montana Supreme Court was not convinced and dismissed Hanson’s motion earlier this year.

In early August, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office received multiple threatening letters from Hanson stating he was informing the agencies “that there are going to be a bunch of dead people if your agency does not intervene on my behalf,” charging records state. In the letter to the Marshals Service, Hanson allegedly explained that he had been fighting the “Nazi bastards of Flathead County Montana” for 22 years for crimes he did not commit.

“There are going to be some dead people over this [expletive deleted] up mess if they are not held accountable!” Hanson allegedly wrote. “That you can take to the bank.”

Hanson also allegedly wrote that he would have “revenge” before listing 18 individuals who have lived in Flathead County in the past, including the victim in the 1995 case, according to records.

In the letter to the Marshals Service, Hanson said he would wait a few weeks for law enforcement to intervene on his behalf before “starting the chaos and mayhem to see justice done myself vigilante style,” records state.

Hanson wrote similar statements in the letter to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry.

“When they send their Nazi bootjack death squad after me, it will be to execute me,” Hanson allegedly wrote. “All I need is to see them and I’ll be pumping as much lead at them as I can before they kill me, and I will make them kill me! I’ll take as many of them with me as I can. They may take my life, but they’ll never take my freedom again!”

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