Saturday, June 15, 2024

Bighawk pleads guilty to vehicular and sexual assault charges

by Jeff Smith/For the Leader
| May 23, 2024 12:00 AM

Judge Molly Owen set a sentencing date of July 10 for a Polson man, who has two separate criminal cases against him. Cheyenne Blue Bighawk, 37, entered a plea of guilty in Polson District Court May 15 to negligent vehicular assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and in a separate case, he pled guilty to sexual assault.

He was initially charged with three counts of sex assault, but the plea agreement could dismiss two, if it holds. The judge is not bound to the agreement.

According to court records, a “Jane Doe,” born in 2014, indicated to authorities that on at least three occasions, beginning when she was 8 years old, Bighawk touched her inappropriately.

During a forensic interview Nov. 30, 2023, “Doe” named three specific occasions when she was allegedly assaulted by Bighawk. She indicated that on one of the occasions, Bighawk allegedly told her not to tell anyone. When questioned by investigators, Bighawk denied touching the girl, then said he “might have.”

Bighawk was already facing charges stemming from a drunk-driving crash that severely injured a passenger. According to charging documents, on May 18, 2023, law enforcement responded to a report of a vehicle on its top in a creek on North Foothills Road.

Bighawk admitted to the responding officer that he had been driving the vehicle. Another emergency responder was assisting the injured passenger, who kept drifting in and out of consciousness. The injured passenger was transported to St. Luke Hospital in Ronan, where it was determined she had suffered a fractured vertebrae. She was then transported to St. Patrick’s Hospital in Missoula.

The officers that responded to the accident scene described Bighawk as loud, belligerent and aggressive. They also said he kept getting in the way of officers who were helping the injured passenger. Bighawk later admitted to consuming a fifth of Crown Royal a half hour prior to the accident.

Bighawk remains in the Lake County jail with bond set at $250,000.