Montana

Population

1,032,949

Population 0‑18

22.0%

Internet Users

77.4%

Home Internet Subscribers

78.3%
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

1999 – School Computer Equipment Program was established. Through this program, computer equipment is collected from state, federal and private donations, and is then distributed to K-12 schools at no cost to the schools.

2005 – The Montana Safe Schools Center was endorsed by the Office of Public Instruction. The center provides skills training throughout the state to schools, students and community groups across the state on the topics of Internet safety and cyberbullying.

2009 – As stated in the Montana Technology Essential Learning Expectations, by the end of Grade 4 students are expected to be able to identify and explore safe, responsible and legal use of modern technologies. From kindergarten, teachers discuss Internet safety in the classroom, including ID protection, bullying prevention and acceptable use policies. By the end of Grade 8, responsible cyber citizens will have learned how to protect their personal information and use digital communication tools in a safe manner.

2010 – Montana’s Information Literacy Standard also states that students are expected to be able to explain the need for Internet safety from kindergarten, and distinguish between unsafe and safe sites and demonstrate appropriate online behavior from Grade 2.

The Montana Technology Content Standards Framework from the same year does not include specific instructions on how to integrate online safety lessons in the classroom.

2015 – The Bully Free Montana Act was passed, requiring all schools to have policies and procedures in place to address bullying, including cyberbullying.

Distance Learning Offered in Rural Montana (2004)

J. Bullard, J.L. Gilliard

This study examines distance learning opportunities offered in Montana.

A Snapshot of Internet Connectivity in Montana (2001)

K. Gebert, R. Campbell

The paper analyzes Internet connectivity and e-commerce in Montana cities.

This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

  • Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 45-5-220. Stalking – Exemption – Penalty. States that a person commits this offense when they intentionally cause another person emotional distress by following them or repeatedly harassing them through electronic communication, among other definitions. Sentences for this crime start with up to one year in the county jail, a fine of $1,000 or both. For a second or subsequent offense (or where the victim was protected by a restraining order) the term of imprisonment increases to up to five years in the state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Offenders may also be required to pay all medical bills and counseling costs incurred by the victim as the result of their actions.

  • MCA 45-5-502. Sexual Assault. This section states that anyone who knowingly subjects another person to any sexual contact without consent is guilty of sexual assault, punishable for a first offense by up to six months in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $500. For a second offense the penalty rises to up to one year’s imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000, and any subsequent offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Where the victim is less than 16 years old and the offender is three or more years older or bodily injury results, then the offender may be sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of imprisonment of four years in the state prison or fined up to $50,000. The law allows for a judge to make a written ruling if they believe that there is good cause as to why a term of less than four years or more than 100 years should apply. Consent under this section is irrelevant if the victim is under the age of 14 and the offender is three or more years older than him/her.

  • MCA 45-5-503. Sexual Intercourse Without Consent. This section states that it is an offense to knowingly have sexual intercourse with another person without consent. This is punishable by a sentence of life imprisonment or a minimum term of two years and a maximum of 100 years. Where the victim is less than 16 and the offender is more than four years older than the victim, the minimum sentence is four years, the maximum term is 100 years and a fine of up to $50,000. If the victim was under 12 at the time of the crime and the offender was at least 18 then he/she shall be sent to prison for 100 years and may not be eligible for parole for at least 25 years. Where the offender has been previously convicted of an offense under this section and serious bodily injury was inflicted, the legislation provides for the possibility of the death penalty.

  • MCA 45-5-504. Indecent Exposure. A person commits this offense if he/she exposes their genitals with the intent to alarm, harass or to arouse or gratify their own sexual desire, including through electronic means. The sentence for this offense is six months in the county jail, a fine of up to $500 or both. Upon a second conviction under this section, a prison term of up to one year in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both may be imposed. A third conviction under this section means that the offender may be sentenced to 10 years in prison or fined up to $10,000. A person commits this crime against a minor if he/she knows the conduct will be observed by a person under 16 years old when the offender is more than four years older than the victim. This is punishable by a fine not to exceed $50,000 and/or a prison sentence of at least four years, unless the judge finds good cause for a shorter or longer sentence.

  • MCA 45-5-511. Provisions generally applicable to sexual crimes. When criminality depends on the victim being less than 16 years old, it is a defense for the offender to prove that the offender reasonably believed the child to be above that age. The belief may not be considered reasonable if the child is less than 14 years old.

  • MCA 45-5-513. Geographic restrictions applicable to high-risk sexual offenders. High-risk sex offenders may not establish a residence within 300 feet of a school, day-care center, playground, park, athletic field or facility that primarily serves minors, or business or facility having a principal purpose of caring for, educating, or entertaining minors. Such sex offenders also may not establish a residence or any other living accommodation in a place where a minor resides, except that the offender may reside with a minor if the offender is the parent, grandparent, or stepparent of the minor unless: the offender’s parental rights were terminated by law; the offender was convicted of a sexual offense in which any of the offender’s minor children, grandchildren, or stepchildren were the victim; or the offender was convicted of a sexual offense in which a minor was the victim and the minor resided with the offender at the time of the offense. The offender may not knowingly make any visual or audible sexually suggestive or obscene gesture, sound, or communication at or to a former victim or a member of the victim’s immediate family; or knowingly come within 300 feet of a former victim of the offender without the prior written permission of the victim or the victim’s legal guardian; or accept, maintain, or carry on regular employment at or within 300 feet of a school, day-care center, playground, developed or improved park, athletic field or facility that primarily serves minors, or business or facility having a principal purpose of caring for, educating, or entertaining minors. Any violation of this section is a felony.

  • MCA 45-5-601. Prostitution. A person commits the offense of prostitution if the person engages in or agrees or offers to engage in sexual intercourse with another person for compensation, whether the compensation is received or to be received or paid or to be paid. A prostitute convicted of prostitution shall be fined an amount not to exceed $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both. A patron who is convicted of prostitution shall for the first offense be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned for a term not to exceed 1 year, or both, and for a second or subsequent offense shall be fined an amount not to exceed $10,000 or be imprisoned for a term not to exceed 5 years, or both. If the person patronized was a child and the patron was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense, whether or not the patron was aware of the child’s age, the patron offender shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for a term of 100 years, and the first 25 years of a sentence of imprisonment imposed cannot be suspended. A patron of a child prostitute may also be fined up to $50,000 and will be ordered to enroll in and successfully complete the educational phase and the cognitive and behavioral phase of a sexual offender treatment program provided or approved by the department of corrections.

  • MCA 45-5-602. Promoting Prostitution. Defines the offense as to, among other things, procure another person for a house of prostitution; to encourage, induce, or otherwise purposely cause a person to become or remain a prostitute; to live, wholly or in part, on the earnings of another’s prostitution. The penalty is a fine of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years. Where the victim is a minor aged 12 or younger and the client was aged 18 or above, an aggravated penalty of up to 100 years’ imprisonment with no eligibility for parole for the first 25 years will apply, in addition to a possible fine of up to $50,000 and enrolment in a sexual offender treatment program.

  • MCA 45-5-603. Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution. States that anyone who promotes the prostitution of a child under the age of 18 will be liable to life imprisonment or imprisonment in the state prison for a maximum term of 20 years and/or a fine of up to $50,000. Where the victim is a minor aged 12 or younger and the client was aged 18 or above, an aggravated penalty of up to 100 years’ imprisonment with no eligibility for parole for the first 25 years will apply, in addition to a possible fine of up to $50,000 and enrolment in a sexual offender treatment program.

  • MCA 45-5-625. Sexual Abuse of Children. This section states that anyone who knowingly employs or uses a child in an exhibition of sexual conduct, whether real or simulated, or who photographs, films, videotapes or records a child in such an act, is guilty of sexual abuse of children. The same applies to anyone who, by any means, including electronically, entices, persuades or procures a child under the age of 16 to engage in sexual conduct, or who knowingly processes, develops, publishes or distributes, via any medium, including through the use of electronic communication, any material depicting a child engaged in such conduct. It is also regarded as sexual abuse of children to possess any material, including in electronic form, of a child engaged in sexual conduct, to possess with intent to sell, to finance any of the activities above, to travel with the intention to meet a child under 16 in order to engage in such conduct, or to knowingly coerce, persuade, arrange for, or facilitate a child under 16 years of age to travel with the intention of engaging in such conduct. Sexual abuse of children is punishable by life imprisonment or imprisonment in the state prison for up to 100 years, and a fine of $10,000. The possession of child sexual abuse material is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Where the victim is under the age of 12 and the offender was aged 18 or above, the penalty will be state imprisonment for 100 years with no eligibility of parole for the first 25 years, a fine of $50,000 and enrollment in a sexual offender treatment program.

  • MCA 45-5-702. Trafficking of persons. A person commits the offense of trafficking of persons if the person purposely or knowingly: (a) recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, receives, provides, obtains, isolates, maintains, or entices another person intending or knowing that the person will be subjected to involuntary servitude or sexual servitude; or (b) benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture that has subjected another person to involuntary servitude or sexual servitude. A person guilty of this crime shall be imprisoned for up to 15 years and/or fined up to $50,000. However, if the violation involves sexual intercourse without consent or the victim was a child, the offender is liable to 50 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

  • MCA 45-5-704. Sexual servitude. A person commits the offense of sexual servitude if the person purposely or knowingly: coerces or deceives an adult to engage in commercial sexual activity, or recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, receives, provides, obtains by any means, isolates, entices, maintains, or makes available a child for the purpose of commercial sexual activity. It is not a defense that the child consented to engage in commercial sexual activity or that the defendant believed the child was an adult. A person who commits this crime against an adult is liable to up to 15 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $50,000; a person who commits this crime against a child is liable to up to 25 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $75,000.

  • MCA 45-5-705. Patronizing victim of sexual servitude. A person commits this offense if the person purposely or knowingly gives, agrees to give, or offers to give anything of value so that a person may engage in commercial sexual activity with another person who he/she knows is a victim of sexual servitude or a child. A person convicted of this offense shall be imprisoned for 15 years and/or fined up to $50,000. If the person patronized was a child, the person convicted will be imprisoned for up to 25 years and fined up to $75,000.

  • **MCA 45-5-706. Aggravating circumstance. An aggravating circumstance during the commission of an offense under 45-5-702, **45-5-704, or 45-5-705 occurs when the defendant recruited, enticed, or obtained the victim of the offense from a shelter that serves runaway youth, foster children, homeless persons, or persons subjected to human trafficking, domestic violence, or sexual assault. If any of these conditions are met, the defendant may be imprisoned for up to five years in addition to the period of imprisonment prescribed for the offense. An additional sentence prescribed by this section must run consecutively to the sentence provided for the underlying offense.

  • MCA 45-8-201. Obscenity. States that it is a criminal offense to knowingly sell, deliver, produce, show or display any obscene material to anyone under the age of 18 years of age. The maximum sentence for this is six months’ imprisonment in the county jail, a fine of $500 to $1,000, or both.

  • MCA 45-8-206. Public display or dissemination of obscene material to minors. A person having custody, control, or supervision of any commercial establishment or newsstand may not knowingly or purposely: (a) display obscene material to minors in such a way that minors, as a part of the invited public, will be able to view the material; (b) sell, furnish, present, distribute, or otherwise disseminate to a minor or allow a minor to view, with or without consideration, any obscene material; or (c) present to a minor or participate in presenting to a minor, with or without consideration, any performance that is obscene to minors. A person does not violate this section if the person uses blinder racks, has reasonable cause to believe the minor was 18 years old, the person is, or acting as, an employee of a bona fide public school, university or outlet affiliated with and serving educational purposes of a school, the person works with or for a public library or museum and the material is in accordance with policies approved by the library or museum, it is an exhibition in a state of nudity that is for a bona fide scientific or medical purpose, or the person is a retail sales clerk with no financial interest in the establishment displaying or selling the material or performance.

  • MCA 45-8-213. Privacy in Communications. States that it is an offense for a person to use electronic communications with the purpose to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend a person. This can include using obscene language or threatening physical injury. The maximum sentence for a first offense is six months’ imprisonment in the county jail, a $500 fine or both. Upon a second conviction under this section, a prison term of up to one year in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both may be imposed. A third conviction under this section means that the offender may be sentenced to up to five years in the state prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

  • MCA 45-8-218. Deviate sexual conduct. Defines the crime of engaging in deviate sexual conduct or causing another person to engage in deviate sexual conduct. The offender may be sentenced to up to 10 years’ imprisonment in the state prison, fined up to $50,000 or both.