Former state Sen. Jason Priest pleads guilty to misdemeanor charges in assault case

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BILLINGS, Montana — A former state senator charged with assaulting his young daughter, his estranged wife and her boyfriend has been given a deferred sentence after pleading guilty to four misdemeanors.

Jason Priest pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of partner or family member assault and one count each of assault and resisting arrest during a hearing in District Court in Red Lodge, The Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/1yhl3B7) reported.

Prosecutors said Priest threw his 4-year-old daughter through a doorway, tried to push his wife down the stairs, tackled her boyfriend and struggled with an officer who intervened at his Red Lodge home Feb. 1.

District Judge Blair Jones gave Priest a one-year deferred sentence and fined him $3,000. He also ordered him to pay just over $8,000 in restitution for the assault that prosecutors said left Jon Trapp with a broken rib and an open wound on his abdomen.

Priest was elected in 2010 to a four-year term and served as chairman of the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee. He and his wife filed for divorce in October 2012.

Priest did not seek re-election.


Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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