Man urged victim to commit suicide via webcam

2014-09-19 15:40

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Billings - A man in prison for raping a girl starting when she was 12 is now charged with trying to persuade her to kill herself by cutting her wrists and taking prescription medication while he watched on a webcam.

Michael John Morlan, 21, was out on bail on the rape charges when he spoke with the then-15-year-old girl via Skype last September and told her to commit suicide while he watched to make sure she was doing it right, charging documents said.

The girl told investigators that when she started crying, Morlan told her to stop wasting air and get it over with.

The teen said Morlan repeatedly told her to kill herself. When she started cutting her wrists, he told her to cut deeper and then told her to take a handful of antidepressants, court records said.

She took the pills then panicked, disconnected the call and went to her parents for help, prosecutors said.

Morlan is serving a seven-year prison sentence for raping the girl.

He was charged with two felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent in the fall of 2012. Prosecutors alleged he had a sexual relationship with the girl from April 2011 - when she was 12 - through July 2012.

He pleaded guilty to the rape charges in November. District Judge Randal Spaulding sentenced him to 15 years in prison with eight suspended and added five years after revoking Morlan's suspended sentence from a 2009 drug distribution case.

Morlan is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday on the new charges - aiding or soliciting suicide, intimidation and tampering with witnesses or informants. He is expected to appear from prison via video.

County officials say Morlan does not have an attorney for the latest charges.

Aiding or soliciting suicide carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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