Law

Two former Anaconda High School basketball players will appear in Ravalli County District Court this month after being charged with raping a 14-year-old girl two years ago.

According to Ravalli County court documents, Matthew Stephen Ryan, 19, and Kynan James Kellegher, 19, have been charged with sexual intercourse without consent, a felony, for knowingly having sexual intercourse with the same 14-year-old girl on Feb. 17, 2017, in Ravalli County.

They are being charged separately as adults, though Ryan and Kellegher were both 17 when the incident allegedly occurred.

The charging documents were filed by the Ravalli County Attorney's office in December, and both men entered not guilty pleas in January, according to the Ravalli County clerk of court.

If Ryan and Kellegher are convicted, they could face a maximum of imprisonment for life or a term of 100 years, plus any applicable penalty enhancement provisions and $50,000 in fines, court documents say.

The affidavits for Ryan and Kellegher state that on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, Anaconda High School’s varsity basketball teams traveled to Hamilton for the District 13-C Boys and Girls basketball tournaments. The teams stayed on the first and second floors of the Townhouse Inn in Hamilton, where the alleged rape occurred.

The alleged 14-year-old victim was staying in a room on the first floor by herself, across from the boys’ head basketball coach at the time, Bill Hill, and his wife, the affidavits say.

Interviews with the victim and various witnesses, including police and forensic interviewers, along with statements from Ryan and Kellegher, were detailed in the affidavits.

The victim said that around 1 or 1:30 a.m., she sent out a Snapchat to some people asking who was still awake. Kellegher reportedly responded via Snapchat to say he and a friend, Ryan, were going to come to her room. The victim then said she asked four other girls if they wanted to come to her room, too, and they declined, the affidavits say.

Soon after, Kellegher reportedly came to her room. The victim then reportedly received a Facebook message from Ryan, asking if Kellegher was there. Kellegher then asked her if Ryan could come over, too, and she agreed, reportedly thinking if there were two boys in the room, sex wouldn’t happen, the affidavits said.

When Ryan arrived, the affidavits state he and Kellegher allegedly began touching the victim’s body and putting their hands down her pants and her shirt. She told them to stop and they did. She then reportedly gave Ryan a $20 bill to go to a gas station nearby and buy her a tea.

At 1:51 a.m., Ryan purchased a three pack of Trojan condoms and an iced tea from the Town Pump store, which is attached to the Townhouse Inn and can be accessed through the hotel lobby, the affidavits state.

When Ryan returned, he and Kellegher allegedly put the condoms on and pressured her into having sex with them, so she did. She allegedly said she did not say no, but that she “felt like she couldn’t do anything or say anything” because there was so much pressure in the room, the affidavits say. The victim told interviewers both boys penetrated her vagina, anus and mouth with their penises, and that Kellegher allegedly strangled her at one point.

All three teens reportedly entered the Town Pump store together at 2:48 a.m. to purchase Tums for Kellegher.

Anaconda School District Athletic Director Allen Green became aware of the incident the next morning at 11 a.m., according to the affidavits.

The affidavits state he observed hotel surveillance footage of Ryan walking from the Town Pump store into the hotel lobby around 2 a.m., and also learned the door to the victim’s room had been opened about 15 minutes before that. Green then talked with and asked for written statements from all three teens.

The victim’s written statement stated that the boys came to her room, one bought condoms, both put the condoms on, both tried to pressure her into having sex and she refused, the affidavits said.

In Ryan’s statement, he wrote that he went to the victim’s room, where Kellegher was already, and “then we did some stuff and then we left." He also admitted to buying condoms and tea at the Town Pump, the affidavits say.

When Green asked Ryan what “did some stuff meant,” he said “sex,” the affidavits said.

Kellegher wrote in his statement that he and Ryan were in the victim’s room between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m.

After talking with the teens and reading these statements, Green reportedly called their parents and told them to pick up their kids in Hamilton.

Later that day, around 6:44 p.m., a Hamilton police officer was dispatched to the station to talk with the alleged victim and her mother. There, the victim told the officers about the incident and said she had one of the condoms in her gym bag, the affidavits said.

The officer was also contacted by the boys’ basketball coach at the time, Bill Hill, who told the officer that the victim had taken advantage of the boys, allegedly referring to her as a “sexual predator,” the affidavits say.

After speaking with the victim and Hill, the officer accessed the victim’s room, which had not been cleaned yet. The officer found two used condoms, an empty condom box and an open condom wrapper. A third condom was also recovered from the victim.

Both Ryan and Kellegher declined to be interviewed by law enforcement, the affidavits say. 

The day after the incident, the victim was given a forensic physical examination in Missoula. She told examiners about what allegedly happened.

The affidavits say the victim had bruising on her left inner thigh, vaginal pain, and pain in her throat and neck from when Kellegher allegedly strangled her. The victim also went through a forensic interview in Butte a few days later, the affidavits said.

On Wednesday, Allen Green, who is still the athletic director for Anaconda School District No. 10, told The Montana Standard he didn’t feel like he was in a position to comment on what happened in Hamilton two years ago.

“At that time we did everything to meet protocol, and our protocol is still in place,” Green said.

He declined to comment on the remarks allegedly made by Hill.

Paul Leisher, one of the defense attorneys for Kellegher, also couldn’t provide much comment on the case. But he did say many of the allegations made in the affidavit have been disputed, and that he and his client do not believe all of what is included in the court document is accurate.

Leisher said he and another defense attorney are conducting their own investigation into the details of the incident.

The omnibus hearing for Ryan is set for Thursday, Feb. 21, at 9 a.m. before Ravalli County District Court Judge Jennifer Lint in Hamilton, the clerk of court said Wednesday. Lint will preside over Kellegher's omnibus hearing on Feb. 28.

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