A Frenchtown man has been charged with aggravated kidnapping, assault, and aggravated assault after being accused of suffocating his girlfriend and transporting her against her will from Dillon to Kreis Pond north of Frenchtown.

According to Missoula County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone, the incident began on Friday, October 18, when 34-year-old Joseph Clinton Goulet traveled to Dillon.

"He was dating a woman in Dillon and he traveled to Dillon to, basically, trick this woman into meeting him by saying that he was a different person," Pavalone said. "They met at a motel, where he pulled the woman inside of the motel and assaulted her pretty severely. He strangled her to the point of unconsciousness, put a pillow over her face, and put her in his vehicle. Then, against her will, he transported her to Missoula."

While stopped in Frenchtown en route to Kreis Pond, some of Goulet's family members noticed something fishy about the way he was treating the woman.

"He wouldn't let her out of the vehicle," Pavalone said. "She had to ask permission to step outside to use the bathroom. His relatives observed this and saw her in the back of the car. Thankfully, the family suspected that he was up to no good and so they went up to Kreis pond and woke her up. When she was aroused, she said that she was scared, that her life was threatened, and that she had been assaulted."

Goulet's family members notified the Missoula County Sheriff's Department, which charged him before sending him back to Dillon for trial. According to Pavalone, it is still unclear whether the strangulation will have any lasting damage on the victim.