September 18, 2014 6:00 am •
Last week, the Musselshell County Attorney’s Office charged Michael John Morlan, 21, with aiding or soliciting suicide, and two other felonies — intimidation and tampering with witnesses and informants.
It is unclear whether anyone has ever been charged with or convicted of aiding or soliciting suicide in Montana. Musselshell County Attorney Kent M. Sipe was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Charging documents say Morlan contacted the girl, who is now 16 years old, via Skype, an online video-chatting service, on Sept. 1, 2013, and told her to kill herself while he watched.
The documents say Morlan told her he wanted to watch so that he could make sure she was doing it right.
The alleged victim reported to law enforcement that when she started crying, Morlan told her to stop wasting air and get it over with.
Court records, quoting the alleged victim, detail a back-and-forth conversation between the two in which Morlan repeatedly told her to kill herself and pressured her to continue as she cut herself and took prescription anti-depressants.
When she started cutting her wrists, Morlan told her to cut deeper, she said. The girl said she had prescription anti-depressants and put them in her hand. When she did this, she said, Morlan told her to take all of them.
She said she took the pills and then panicked, disconnected the Skype call and went to her parents for help.
About a year prior to this incident, Morlan had been charged with two felony counts of sexual intercourse without consent involving the same girl.
The charges alleged that Morlan had a sexual relationship with her from April 2011 — when she was 12 years old — through July 2012 and that he admitted to law enforcement that he digitally penetrated the girl on July 25, 2012.
Morlan was apparently out of jail after posting bond at the time he is accused of trying to coerce the girl to kill herself.
The girl reported that in August 2013, Morlan stalked and intimidated her when she tried to avoid communication with him.
She said he threatened to make her life miserable if she went to police and told her he had people watching her.
The girl told investigators that while at the youth center in Roundup a person, identified in charging documents as B.K., came up to her and told her to “quit telling everyone that Mickey raped you.”
In November, Morlan pleaded guilty to the two rape charges. District Judge Randal I. Spaulding sentenced him to 15 years in prison, with eight years suspended.
The judge also revoked Morlan’s sentence in a 2011 felony drug distribution case and sentenced him to an additional five-year commitment.
Morlan, who is being held at the state prison, is scheduled for arraignment in Musselshell County District Court on Sept. 22.
Aiding or soliciting suicide caries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.