A Missoula man, Jared Fruend, 29, was sentenced in Missoula District Court on Tuesday, November 12, to 20 years in the Montana Department of Health and Human Services for sexually assaulting two young girls in September of 2012.

Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks said that Fruend was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the incident.

"Fruend had molested two children here in Missoula and it was determined by the doctors at the state hospital that he did so while suffering from a mental illness that was responsible for his behavior," Marks said. "He was a friend of the family and had been left to watch the children for a brief period of time while their parents ran an errand, and he was caught in the act of molesting one of the girls."

Court documents indicate that Fruend fled the home after being discovered by the parents. He was chased down and held by neighbors until police arrived at which time he was taken into custody.

Fruend was sentenced by Judge John Larson to a 20 year commitment to the Department of Health and Human Services for initial placement at the State Hospital in Warm Springs.

Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks: