Nation

Probation plea in Montana waterboarding case

HELENA, Mont. — A Montana man accused of waterboarding four children as a learning experience for them has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in which he will receive probation.

The children were the Jefferson County man’s 9- and 12-year-old sons and two neighbors, ages 13 and 15, according to court documents.

The 42-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to four misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors dropped felony charges that included making threats against public officials and others.

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In keeping with the plea agreement, District Judge James B. Wheelis sentenced the man to 180 days in jail for each charge, all suspended. That amounts to two years of probation, minus the 80 days he has already spent in custody, the Independent Record reported.

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The Associated Press is withholding the man’s name because it doesn’t identify minors who are victims of crime or abuse, and releasing the man’s name would identify his sons.

The man was arrested in December.

His girlfriend at the time told investigators that the man described it as a learning experience for the boys.

ASSOCIATED PRESS