Crime

Columbia Falls Man Accused of Second Sexual Assault

New filing alleges Ronald Braxton Dougherty assaulted 6-year-old boy in 2018; Dougherty was previously charged with raping developmentally disabled girl in 2019

By Andy Viano
The Flathead County Justice Center in Kalispell. Beacon File Photo

A 20-year-old Columbia Falls man already awaiting trial for allegedly raping a developmentally disabled girl has been charged with a second count of sexual intercourse without consent, this time stemming from an assault of a 6-year-old boy.

Prosecutors filed the most recent charge against Ronald Braxton Dougherty in Flathead County District Court on May 10. Dougherty was taken into custody on May 6 for failure to appear in an unrelated case. He is slated to stand trial on the first sexual intercourse without consent charge in June.

In charging documents filed this week, Dougherty is accused of convincing a 6-year-old boy that performing CPR involved sexual contact, then initiating that contact in the late summer or early fall of 2018. The assault was reported to the Child and Family Services Division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services in the spring of 2019. Prosecutors have asked for Dougherty to be charged as an adult even though he was 17 years old at the time of the alleged offense.

In March 2020, Dougherty was accused of raping a girl with a “genetic condition that causes a range of developmental disabilities and cognitive impairment” and charged with sexual intercourse without consent. In that case, charging documents allege Dougherty told the victim, “we’re alone, we should have sex” in October or November 2019 and proceeded to rape her. Dougherty was 18 at the time of the assault. The victim was 16.

Dougherty’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 28.

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