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Guard Sentenced for Montana Women’s Prison Rape

by Jo Ellen Nott

On June 30, 2022, a former guard at Montana Woman’s Prison (MWP) was sentenced in Yellowstone County District Court to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended, for raping a prisoner at the lockup in 2019. The unnamed prisoner said she had sex 10 times with the former guard, Allan Lee Hagstrom, 41, though he admitted only to three and claimed she was the aggressor. [See: PLN, Oct. 2021, p.1.]

As part of a 13-year career in several state prison systems, Hagstrom was employed as a guard at MWP from August 2018 to late January 2019. His current problems began when a compliance officer asked the state Department of Corrections (DOC) to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct at the prison.

For reporting those rape allegations, the compliance officer, Daniel Root, said he was passed over for two promotions starting in 2017. He filed suit against DOC, and prison officials allegedly told him his suit and related press interviews affected his chances for career advancement. [See: PLN, Feb. 2019, p.28.] In June 2021, DOC reportedly agreed to pay $250,000 to settle claims Root brought, though terms of the settlement agreement forced him to resign. See: Root v. Montana Dep’t of Corr., USDC (D. Mt.), Case No. 1:18-cv-00164.

During the investigation into the rape allegations, surveillance video from Hagstrom’s last shift at MWP was scrutinized. In that he was seen following a woman off camera into a blind spot, and the two spent the next 25 minutes out of the camera’s view. The woman was later identified as a prisoner.

While searching her cell, prison staff found an email address linked to Hagstrom. The prisoner then confessed to investigators that she had multiple sexual encounters Hagstrom, the last during his final shift on January 25, 2019.

Hagstrom then transferred to Crossroads Correction Center in Shelby, where a DOC investigator caught up with him in early February 2019. Hagstrom admitted the prisoner had performed oral sex on him at least three times, but he claimed the sex was consensual. He also admitted to the investigator that he was worried about prison time and his wife divorcing him. His defense, according to a transcript of the interview: “She wanted it and I just, I fucked up.”

Hagstrom is eligible for parole after serving half of his five-year sentence. The judge ordered him to complete sex offender training and register as a sex offender upon release. 

Sources:  AP News, Billings Gazette, NBC Montana

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