(UPDATE: April 1, 2024 at 11:22 AM)

County Attorney Matt Jennings provided the following update:

Brent Olson was convicted of incest on 3/29/24.  The State moved the Court to place the Defendant in custody pending sentencing, which was denied.  You and I spoke shortly after the guilty verdict and I explained the conviction and his release to the community.  Late in the afternoon on Friday, March 29, we filed a Motion to Reconsidering Release Pending Sentencing.  At about 6:45 on Friday, the presiding judge emailed the parties stating that she reviewed the motion and was granting the State’s request to revoke Olson’s release.  She ordered him to report to jail that night.

(Second Report: April 1, 2024 at 10:25 AM)

According to the Missoula jail roster, 52-year-old Brent Olson was booked at 9:04 PM on March 29, 2024. I am reaching out to County Attorney Matt Jennings for an official update.

(First Report: March 29, 2024 at 4:32 PM)

Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - A Missoula man, Brent James Olson, was found guilty in Missoula District Court on Friday afternoon of a crime of incest that occurred in 2021 against a then nine-year-old child.

I spoke with interim Missoula County Attorney Matt Jennings just after the verdict was handed down before Judge Leslie Halligan.

A Guilty Verdict for a Missoula Man on a Charge of Incest

“Our office just concluded a five-day trial against a defendant named Brent James Olsen," began Jennings. “The allegation in that case was one of incest, which is a sexual crime against a family member. In this case, it was the nine-year-old daughter. This case is interesting because there were allegations (of incest committed) against both a daughter and a son. The offenses were charged together but the court severed them, meaning the court is requiring two separate trials.”

Jennings said the young victim, who is now 12 years old and has waited three years for justice, showed amazing courage in facing her accuser and testifying at the trial.

Jennings said the Victim has Waited Three Years for Justice

“The public could probably imagine some of the challenges of a trial like this when you have a nine-year-old victim reporting things of this nature and then being called to testify a few years later,” he said. “It's enormously traumatic and stressful for a child and her family, and they all displayed an uncanny amount of courage in being able to come forward and participate and make sure that they found justice in this case.”

Considering the seriousness of the crime and the possible sentence, Jennings said the trial did not have a satisfying conclusion for the prosecution.

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Jennings said the Defendant was not Jailed after the Verdict

“The conviction for incest comes with a possible 100-year sentence in the Montana State Prison, and the first 25 years of that may not be suspended,” he said. “Unfortunately, we fought hard at the conclusion of this trial just about an hour ago, to have defendant Olson remanded, meaning put into jail, considering the nature of this offense and the danger to the public. The Court declined to do so and so he (the defendant) is at large without bail at this point in our community.”

Jennings said a second charge against Olson, this time against a male child who was 11 at the time (now 15) will be tried separately.

Jennings said the defendant faces some restrictions but was freed after the verdict and walked out of the courtroom.

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