Montana man who fled sex-abuse arrest faces drug charge

Associated Press

BOZEMAN, Mont. — A Bozeman man accused of trying to rape a former girlfriend in February and then escaping police custody and eluding authorities for three weeks was charged Tuesday with possessing a drug that may have knocked the woman out.

A syringe found in Kevin Anthony Briggs’ backpack had traces of a drug called etizolam, which has amnesic, hypnotic and sedative effects, Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert said. The drug also was found in body fluid samples taken from the woman Briggs is charged with attempting to sexually assault, court records said.

Briggs was charged Tuesday with possession of dangerous drugs, and he has not yet appeared in court on the new charge. His attorney, Chuck Watson, was not in the office late Tuesday to comment on his behalf.

The former girlfriend told investigators that she became sleepy and “passed out” after Briggs made her a smoothie late on Jan. 31 and awakened to him trying to rape her. She also was strangled, authorities said.

She fled to a friend’s house and called police early Feb. 1, identifying Briggs as her attacker.

Found near his apartment, Briggs initially ran away and then punched an officer who tried to arrest him, court records said. He then walked out of an unlocked police station interview room, in handcuffs and leg restraints, after being left unsupervised for 31 minutes.

He was arrested on Feb. 21, in Portland, Oregon.

He has pleaded not guilty to five other felony charges: attempted sexual intercourse without consent, aggravated assault, assault on a peace officer, escape and failure to register as a sexual offender while he was on the run.

Briggs was required to register as a sex offender after a conviction for raping and kidnapping his former girlfriend in Helena in 2003, when he was 16 and she was 14.

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