Note: we are republishing this story amid recent reports that child sexual abuse has surged in America during the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics indicate 1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault from an adult. More on this here: https://www.rainn.org/statistics/children-and-teens
A child’s grandparents can be some of their favorite people. Because they’re part of the family, but not directly connected like parents, grandparents can often be easier on them and therefore very desirable people to spend time with. However, when a grandparent abuses their close relationship to a child, as one 55-year-old Montana man did, it can be one of the most disgusting and heinous crimes imaginable.
Mikeal Shane Pruett, 55, was arrested last June after his 11 year old granddaughter became pregnant with his child. She gave birth to the incestuous baby in August.
Pruett went through the legal system and was found guilty of these extremely disgusting crimes. He has since been sentenced to spend the next 200 years in prison for both impregnating his 11-year-old granddaughter and sexually molesting her younger sister.
Pruett was sentenced to one hundred years for each charge of incest.
“The only real question is how much should be suspended, “Ravalli County Attorney Bill Fulbright said. “In my view, over the course of his life, he has set no boundaries when it comes to committing sexual offenses. Everything about the defendant’s life and conduct in Ravalli County has earned him a 100-year sentence.”
Pruett was not only the victims’ grandfather, but he was also their legal guardian. He abused that close proximity to assault them and get his 11-year-old granddaughter pregnant sexually. He will remain in prison until he is 105-years-old when he is first eligible for parole.
The judge was familiar with Pruett. He recalled seeing the man in the system because he had a long history of predatory sexual misconduct with extremely young females. Not only did the county know this about Pruett, but he was also a free man who was granted guardianship over two little girls.
The judge admitted that Pruett seems “to lack any kind of semblance of a conscience” and readily molested the girls whenever he could.
Ravalli County District Judge Jeffrey Langton recognized that Pruett would be a menace to young female children if he was ever released from prison. This also indicated that the judge had little hope that Pruett would ever fix his ways because he has an incurable attraction toward young children.
Evidence was clear to Judge Langdon that Pruett had a history of sexual misconduct toward little children and those in his family.
Attorney Fulbright was the man who recommended that Pruett get 100 years for each act of incest he was convicted for. The judge thought this was the best plan of action and thusly sentenced Pruett in prison for this length of time.
The truth of Pruett’s horrible behavior began to unravel when his granddaughter went to the doctor and was discovered to be 32-weeks pregnant. Pruett was molesting her and her 9-year-old sister while he was their legal guardian.
Shortly after the girl’s pregnancy was discovered, she was taken to Val Widmer, the director of children’s advocacy facility Emma’s House for an interview. It was Widmer’s intention to get to the bottom of what happened and who did this to her.
Pruett brought the girl in for the interview and was in the waiting room while the victim gave Widmer all the gruesome details about how her grandfather sexually molested her.
However, the girl first told Widmer a lie to protect her grandfather. She claimed that a boy at the Ravalli County Fair had sex with her. But the fair was from the summer before and could not explain the pregnancy. After the girl gave birth in August, Widmer visited her, and she told him the truth – that Pruett was the father.