Society

Convicted Rapist Used Skype To Coerce Victim To Suicide, Montana DA Says

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Montana man serving seven years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl is facing new charges after the district attorney’s office charged him with using a webcam to pressure the victim into suicide.

Michael John Morlan, 21, who is in jail after pleading guilty to two rape charges in November 2012, was charged with aiding or soliciting suicide, intimidation and tampering with witnesses and informants last week.

The Skype chats between Morlan and the victim allegedly occurred while he was out on bail on Sept. 1, 2013, according to the Musselshell County Attorney’s Office.

The victim, who is now 16, began cutting herself and taking prescription antidepressants. According to charging documents, Morlan watched via Skype because he wanted to make sure she was doing it right and pressured her to get it over with.

After taking the pills she disconnected from Skype and went to her parents for help, according to the Billings Gazette.

The victim says Morlan stalked and intimidated her when she avoided communicating with him. She claims he threatened to make her life miserable if she went to police.

Morlan was sentenced in November to 15 years in jail with eight years suspended.

The aiding or soliciting suicide charge carries with it a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Sources: Billings Gazette, New York Daily News

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / David Goehring, Billings Gazette