A woman who had supervisor responsibilities at the Butte Pre-release Center pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony charge for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a male inmate at the facility.
Brittany Popovich, 29, entered the plea before District Judge Brad Newman. He set another hearing for Sept. 28 and allowed Popovich to remain free on bail.
She was charged with a felony for having sex with the inmate twice between Oct. 20 and Nov. 5 last year at an apartment on West Granite Street, according to court documents.
Under Montana law, an inmate can’t give consent to sexual contact with a supervisor at a correctional facility.
A person convicted of sexual intercourse without consent faces a minimum sentence of two years in prison and a maximum of life behind bars. The maximum fine is $50,000.
According to the charge, the male inmate submitted to a random urinalysis on Nov. 6 and knew it would test positive for methamphetamine. He approached Popovich and told her to “take care of the situation” or he would tell staff about their relationship.
She told the inmate she couldn’t take care of the issue “and decided it was best to come forward about her conduct,” the charging document says.
According to a police detective’s report, Popovich and the inmate said they had sex twice and “the only discrepancy is who initiated the relationship.”