Laurel man facing life after admitting to sex assault on child

By: 
Marlo Pronovost
SCN Editor

A Laurel man who has been in jail for more than a year is facing a possible life sentence after admitting to sexually assaulting a young teenager.
Jason Russel Burg, 43, pleaded guilty last Thursday to one felony count of sexual assault on a minor and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of children. The crimes occurred in 2012 and 2013. Burg faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of four years and a maximum possible life sentence. There is no plea agreement in the case. Sentencing was set for Nov. 9. He remains in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility with bail set at $100,000.
The victim’s mother was present in the courtroom and softly cried when Burg admitted to the specific criminal acts.
 
THE CASE
According to court documents, the victim was a young teenager when the crimes occurred approximately six or seven years ago.
The sheriff’s office was contacted by a local pastor when Burg allegedly admitted to having “improper sexual conduct” with one of the victims when he applied to work in the church’s youth program.
Burg has also allegedly made several admissions about improper sexual conduct involving both victims to a marriage counselor, which were subsequently reported to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Child Abuse Hotline, according to court documents.
When interviewed by Chief Deputy Woody Claunch, Burg’s wife allegedly admitted to being aware of “several incidents” involving Burg and the victims. She also said that Burg recently had made admissions to her, according to court documents.
Burg requested an attorney when questioned by Claunch.
The arrest was the culmination of a 5-month investigation by the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office. Burg was arrested in Yellowstone County without incident by the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force.

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