“She’s a hero:” Indiana man gets 70 years after Laurel teen reports abuse

An Indiana man was sentenced Thursday to several decades in prison following his conviction for molesting a girl several times in Laurel.

Robert Lee Morrissey appears in Yellowstone County District Court on Thursday, Sept. 14 for sentencing.

AMY LYNN NELSON, Billings Gazette

Robert Lee Morrissey Jr., 60, kept his head bowed through almost his entire appearance in Yellowstone County District Court before Judge Ashley Harada, who ordered him to 70 years in Montana State Prison.

Although Morrissey maintained his innocence through his sentencing, during the course of the Laurel investigation he admitted to sexually abusing girls younger than him during his youth. Thursday’s hearing offered some of those girls, now women, a chance to confront Morrissey about that abuse and applaud the girl whose coming forward led to Morrissey’s conviction.

“She was able to do what I could not,” said one of the adult survivors during her testimony in court.

The Laurel Police Department launched an investigation into the abuse in March 2020 following a report from the state Department of Public Health and Human Services. The mother of the girl who survived

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