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Kalispell man pleads guilty to rape charge

Daily Inter Lake | July 29, 2022 12:00 AM

A Kalispell man likely will spend the next 20 years under supervision after admitting in Flathead County District Court to raping a woman he met online in 2021.

Elton Jones, 21, pleaded guilty to a single felony count of sexual intercourse without consent on July 27 after striking a deal with prosecutors. As part of the agreement, prosecutors will recommend he receive a suspended 20 year sentence with the state Department of Corrections.

Under oath, Jones walked through the rape with defense attorney Liam Gallagher. He admitted having sex in May 2021 and, asked whether it was without consent, he answered: “To my knowledge, yes.”

His voice dropped when Gallagher asked if he was aware that he lacked consent at the time.

“Yes,” Jones said, the word barely audible in the courtroom.

Detectives with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Jones in the weeks after the rape. According to court documents, the victim recalled getting together with Jones in his U.S. 93 home after only knowing him for a few weeks. The two were lying together on a blanket when Jones began groping her. She asked him to stop, court documents said.

At that, Jones allegedly flipped her onto her stomach and raped her as he held her face down into the blanket.

“Remember who you belong to,” he allegedly said, “you belong to me.”

In a follow up interview with detectives, Jones acknowledged knowing the victim and engaging in a short relationship with her following their meeting on the internet, court documents said. He also recalled being on the blanket with her, allegedly telling authorities he remembered “a little bit about it.”

When they confronted him with the victim’s statement, he admitted the rape, telling detectives he hated himself and wanted to die by suicide.

After Jones went through the details of the rape, Judge Dan Wilson accepted the plea and set sentencing for Oct. 27. In the meantime, Jones will undergo a sex offender evaluation.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.