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Jay Geoffrey Robert Ashton, left, speaks with a detention officer Thursday after being sentenced to five years for sending an indecent photo to a minor.

Man gets 5 years for indecent photo

A judge sentenced a man to five years Thursday for sending a photo of his genitals to a minor who was under 16 years old.

Jay Geoffrey Robert Ashton, 26, was initially charged with sexual abuse of a minor and felony indecent exposure to a minor, but in an agreement with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty only to the latter offense.

Prosecutors said in May and June of 2017, he used electronic or other means of communication in an attempt to entice the minor to engage in sexual activity. He also was accused of sending a photo of his genitals electronically.

“I’m sorry for the things I’ve done,” Ashton told District Judge Brad Newman before sentencing Thursday. “This is not the way I want my life to go.”

Newman sentenced him to 15 years of custody with the Department of Corrections but suspended 10 of them. During his time at the DOC, he must complete a sexual offender program.

When released, he is not allowed to be around anyone under the age of 18 without approval of probation officers during his suspended sentence, among other restrictions.

“You are hanging out with people much too young for you,” Newman told him.

Man admits putting infant in freezer

A man pleaded guilty to criminal endangerment Thursday for sticking his 5-month-old son in a freezer because he wouldn’t stop crying.

William Aaron James, 24, pleaded guilty to the felony charge before District Judge Kurt Krueger and could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Krueger ordered a pre-sentence investigation, with James to be sentenced at a later date.

According to prosecutors, James told a child welfare worker that when living in Butte in 2013, he put the infant boy in the freezer for a few seconds because he would not stop crying.

James initially said a burn on the boy’s elbow was from him moving around on a blanket too much. Charges were eventually brought when the admission was passed on to Butte police in 2015.

James admitted to Krueger Thursday that he put the boy in the freezer.


Government and politics reporter

Reporter with emphasis on government and politics.

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