Teen pleads not guilty to multiple rape, weapons assault charges

Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A 19-year-old Dillon man pleaded not guilty to 37 different charges accusing him of violence and unwanted sexual conduct with a underage girl.

Blaine Burger pleaded not guilty in Fifth Judicial District Court last week to three felony counts of assault with a weapon, felony aggravated sexual intercourse without consent, five felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent, felony intimidation, 24 felony counts of sexual abuse of children under 16, felony strangulation of a partner or family member, and misdemeanor counts of privacy in communications and partner or family member assault. He is held in the Beaverhead County Jail on $750,000 bond. Burger faces up to 100 years in prison and a maximum $50,000 fine on each of the most serious charges.

Burger, who was 18 at the time, is accused of carving the 14-year-old girl’s skin with box cutters; strangling the girl during one sex act; forcing oral, anal and vaginal sex on her; controlling and locking her out of her social media accounts; threatening her not to talk about him or their relationship; and taking video and photographs of their sexual acts together. He is also accused of urinating in her mouth and forcing her to eat his feces. All the incidents occurred between October 2021 and April 2022.

Youth under age 16 cannot legally consent to sex in Montana. At least one felony count alleged a sexual incident the girl said she did not want. The Dillon Tribune does not name victims of sexual crimes or juveniles.

Burger was originally charged with felony counts of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, sexual abuse of children and sexual intercourse without consent in Beaverhead County Justice Court. County Attorney Jed C. Fitch increased the number of charges due to the ongoing investigation.

Fitch argued for keeping a high bond amount, and asked to add conditions for no driving, no weapon use, and have him sur render his passport.

“My concern is (Burger) may head for Mexico if he gets behind the wheel of a car,” he said.

Fitch also requested Burger not be around anyone under the age of 18, noting that police continue to investigate if Burger had a second victim. There is a potential for additional charges.

Burger’s attorney Walter Hennessey said he would request bond changes in a separate court filing. He argued Burger should be allowed to drive if eligible.

Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Luke Berger retained the high bond amount, and added the conditions Fitch requested. If Burger posts a bond he would also need to have a GPS monitor.