Missoula County Attorney Comments on Denial of Parole for Beau Donaldson – Said Victim Testified Bravely [YouTube]
Beau Donaldson, the former Grizzly football player who confessed to raping a childhood friend, and is now serving a 10 year term in the Montana State Prison, had his first parole hearing in Deer Lodge on Friday.
That request was denied.
Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst told KGVO News on Friday afternoon, that her office was not entirely satisfied with Donaldson's progress in the state prison, and recommended that he begin and complete the boot camp program recommended at sentencing.
"The victim and her family and supporters were all present," Pabst said. "We shared with the board some concerns that we had that Beau had not been engaging in treatment prior to his sentencing, that he did not have a real solid parole plan. His family was there and expressed a wish to move to another state and there just weren't any specifics about his parole plan, so we had a lot more questions than we had answers, so we opposed the parole."
Pabst said, during sentencing in January 2013, that District Judge Karen Townsend had recommended that he complete the boot camp program, in addition to the sexual offender treatment program, so we reiterated that recommendation today at the hearing," she said. "Before the board should consider parole, we asked that they would defer that decision until after the defendant had successfully completed that program."
The parole board stated that Donaldson should serve a minimum of 25 percent of his 10 year sentence before they would even consider an application for parole.
"Beau has now served two and a half years, so that requirement has been met," Pabst said. "The boot camp program is in two phases. The first phase is held on the prison grounds, and it is very military-style, and our hope was that that would instill a permanent sense of personal responsibility, and that lasts about 90 days, and sometimes longer. If he would successfully complete that program, he would be sent to the boot camp After Care program in Great Falls, which would last for at least another 90 days. The board said that once he successfully completes both those programs, then it would re-entertain his request for parole."
Pabst said the victim testified at the hearing, as well.
"She was absolutely amazing and courageous," Pabst said. "I was so proud of her. She directly addressed the parole board. We echoed the same concerns about the lack of a plan and the fact that the boot camp program hadn't been initiated yet. She asked the board to be more introspective. If they were going to grant it, they would like more details about who his treatment providers were going to be."
Donaldson had initially denied the rape charge, but changed his plea to guilty after in a recorded phone call with the victim, he confessed to the rape. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with 20 years suspended.