A Helena man convicted of sex crimes against two children was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in the Montana State Prison. 

Steven Mills, 57, was originally charged with one count of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of accountability to sexual intercourse without consent.

As part of a plea bargain, Mills entered an Alford plea to a single count of sexual assault, meaning he did not admit guilt but agreed that the charges against him could be proven. 

Mills was arrested in 2016 for his crimes against the two children. Authorities say he forced one of the children to have sex with his wife, and he repeatedly raped the other. 

In court, Mills appeared unperturbed by the testimony of Tracy Vaughn, a licensed clinical professional counselor who had evaluated Mills for psychosexual issues and deemed him to have “no empathy” and “little remorse.”

The state requested that Mills be sentenced to a 40-year term in the Montana State Prison with 20 of those years suspended.

Mills requested treatment in a very short statement, so he could live in society “safely, without risk to anybody.”

James Gardner, Mills’ lawyer, suggested that Mills had taken responsibility for his crimes while agreeing with the state’s request.

“He has?” Judge Kathy Seeley asked, loudly.

“Frankly, I take issue with that statement,” Seeley said later. “I give him minimal credit for not taking this to trial.”

“’Wrong place, wrong time,’” Seeley read, quoting a statement from Mills.

“He is not highly motivated for treatment and his lack of connection to anyone is worrying," she said.

Seeley then sentenced him to 40 years in the Montana State Prison while Mills put his head in his hands.

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