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Missoula rape trial expected to end Friday

MISSOULA – A man who is accused of raping a woman in Missoula was back in court on Thursday.

Shane Pelletier appeared before Judge Greg Pinski in Missoula District Court for the second day of his jury trial for a sexual intercourse without consent charge.

Pelletier is accused of finding a highly intoxicated girl who had blacked out in a downtown parking garage in July 2017 and bringing her back to his apartment.

The victim told police that she woke up from being blackout drunk while an unknown man, later identified as Pelletier, was on top of her, raping her.

Pelletier told police that the encounter was consensual.

The nurse who examined the victim testified that she had sustained injuries that would be extremely uncommon for consensual sex and that the victim showed signs of sexual assault.

Pelletier’s father also took to the stand but it wasn’t his testimony that caused the most controversy — it was a letter he received from his son while in jail that had details regarding the incident.

That letter was ruled to be inadmissible hearsay by Judge Pinski after much disagreement between the defense and state.

The last person to take the stand for the day was the detective investigating the case Connie Brueckner who detailed the account of what led to discovering Pelletier as the main suspect and his arrest in Butte.

The state finished examining their witnesses Thursday and Friday the defense will begin to call on their own.

Pelletier’s defense indicated that he will be taking the stand at some point and the case is expected to wrap up on Friday.

Connor McCauley

Connor McCauley

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