Man sentenced to at least 7 years in prison for sex assault on teen

By: 
Marlo Pronovost
SCN Editor

A young teenage girl took the witness stand last Thursday and faced the man who sexually assaulted her.

Christopher Oak, 39, did not look at the girl as she tearfully asked him why he had committed the crime. The girl also talked about having tried to take her own life once and how she no longer trusts males.

The teen also told Oak she was going to forgive him to allow herself to move forward.

“I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor,” the teen said.

The girl’s mother had similar words from Oak, saying “I hope you rot in hell.”

Oak took responsibility for the crime, saying there was nothing he could do but apologize.

“This isn’t who I really am. I made a mistake and I’m willing to pay for it,” said Oak, who has been jailed since his August 2016 arrest.

Before sentencing Oak, Judge Randal Spaulding spoke directly to the victim and her family, telling them that he understood their desire to have Oak punished for his crime against the girl.

Spaulding read the Montana law under which he is bound, which states that incarceration is for violent and serious repeat offenders. Oak has no criminal history.

“I’m bound by the law,” Spaulding said to the family.

But he also made clear his view on Oak.

“What you did here was deplorable. I’m aghast,” Spaulding said.

The judge then spoke again to the young victim.

“You did nothing wrong here. I hope you know that,” Spaulding said.

The judge then followed the recommended joint sentence of 25 years in a state prison with all but seven years suspended. Oak must complete Phase I of sex offender treatment before he is eligible for parole, and must finish Phase 2 once he is released from custody. He was also designated a Level 1 offender, which means he is at low risk to reoffend.

Prosecutors dismissed three felony counts of witness tampering and two additional felony counts on sexual assault as part of the plea agreement. The witness tampering charges stemmed from phone calls Oak made from jail trying to persuade witnesses in the case to help him.

Oak served in the United States Army for 20 years, including two deployments. According to a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in sexual offenders and who evaluated Oak, he has some anger issues, some “sexual deviance,” has engaged in compulsive pornography watching and is an “ inadequate person who does not do very well in life.”  

 

The case

According to court documents, Oak allegedly had sexual contact with a young girl under the age of 16.

The contact consisted of Oak allegedly exposing himself to the girl and making her touch him, making her watch an erotic movie that included violence and sexual dominance, according to court documents.

Three days before the girl was interviewed by Stillwater and Yellowstone county deputies, Oak attempted suicide, according to Stillwater County Sheriff’s Dispatch records and court documents.

Deputies were able to find Oak and get him to a Billings hospital, where he was treated.

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