Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow his office to prosecute a suspect linked by DNA evidence the rape of an eight-year-old child in Billings in 1987.

“The eight year-old girl was raped in her home in 1987, and initially the suspicion fell on the wrong person,” began Fox. “A man named Jimmy Ray Bromgard was charged and then convicted. Fast forward to the 2002 when DNA science became good enough that we could either accuse or exonerate an individual. The science revealed that Bromgard was not the perpetrator, and he was released from prison.”

The rape remained unsolved after the DNA was sent to the national database and no suspect was matched.

“Fast forward to 2014 and an individual named Ronald Tipton committed a crime and his DNA was sent to the national database and was matched to the rape of the eight year-old girl in Billings in 1987,” he said. “Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito was notified of the DNA match and his office investigated and got a DNA sample from Tipton which again was a match. He was charged, and he moved to dismiss the case and the Yellowstone County Attorney refused to dismiss the case, but the Montana Supreme Court overruled the district court because they were bound by the U.S. Supreme Court over a 2003 case in California.”

Fox then made his request to the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case on the merits.

“We believe that the law really must keep up with the forensic science of DNA testing,” he said. “The survivor of the rape in 1987 has since gone public with her story and identified herself as Linda Tokarski Glantz. I have met with her and she is very supportive of us continuing to fight this case. There are a number of organizations who are willing to help in this effort, including the National District Attorney’s Association, the Professional Association of Prosecutors, and an association of victims advocates.”

Fox said he is hopeful that if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, oral arguments could be heard in the spring.

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