MISSOULA — A federal judge in Missoula sentenced Robert Brandon Callison to 12 years in prison on child pornography and drug charges, and forbid him from contacting the victim ever again.
Callison, 32 years old, pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of distributing methamphetamine to a person under the age of 21.
But it is a case prosecutors contend went deeper than that.
During sentencing Friday in federal court, attorney Nick Brooke argued his client needs drug addiction treatment, saying that Callison’s long dependence on drugs led to years of criminal conduct.
He asked U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen for a 92-month prison sentence, arguing that the state’s request for a sentence more than twice that was an overreach.
But prosecutors allege when the two met in 2019, Callison knew " Jane Doe" was 17 years old and was nearly twice her age when he gave her meth.
Court documents indicate a month later, Callison sexually assaulted her while keeping a gun in his possession during the act. She told investigators she felt “forced and scared.” That account of the encounter did not result in a criminal charge and Callison denies it happened.
Callison was not legally allowed to have firearms due to an earlier conviction in Georgia.
Prosecutors then contend he then began putting pressure on her to provide pornographic pictures and videos of her, eventually manipulating and pressuring her into complying.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno Baucus wrote in court documents Callison told “Jane Doe” to create a PayPal account and an advertisement on Snapchat listing sexual services for sale so she could pay him back for staying at his apartment.
He was not charged with any crime related to that allegation and denies he ever encouraged the victim to sell sex.
While that claim was not brought up directly during Friday's sentencing, Brooke objected to any hint that this was a sex trafficking case and therefore should not be taken into consideration when imposing punishment.
But the judge did take Callison’s criminal history into account during sentencing. He also mentioned Callison was illegally in possession of a stolen firearm which likely intimidated the victim into agreeing to provide explicit content.
Callison shook his head in disagreement as the judge talked about how the presence of a gun must have been terrifying for the young woman who was forced into doing something she did not want to do.
Callison did address the court to say he took responsibility for his crimes and that he is sorry.
The victim was invited to tell the court about her experience but ultimately declined. She sat with family members in the back of the courtroom during the court proceedings. Callison did not look her way as he was led back to jail.
After serving 12 years, Callison will be under supervised release for the next ten years. He is not allowed to ever possess firearms and needs to get his GED and will have to comply with other restrictions during the remainder of his release.
He has asked to be placed in a federal prison in Virginia.