The Montana Supreme Court has ruled a District Court judge wrongly dismissed charges against a former Gallatin County deputy accused of choking a teenage girl.
Thursday's 5-2 ruling returns the case to District Judge Holly Brown. In January, Brown dismissed a felony mistreatment of a prisoner charge filed against 59-year-old Thomas Madsen. Brown said the girl was not a "prisoner," which she said state law defines as someone serving a jail or prison sentence.
The Supreme Court countered that a "prisoner" is anyone whose liberty is restrained by law enforcement and the charge applies.
Charging documents say Madsen wrapped his hands around the neck of a 17-year-old girl and shoved her against the wall of an interview room in February 2011. The girl was wearing a restraint belt and handcuffs.