NewsCrime & Courts


Bozeman man reappears in Justice Court after breaking bond

Hefty was accused rape in 2023, after his relationship with a 13-year-old was discovered by her parents.
Posted at 8:44 AM, Jul 01, 2024

BOZEMAN — One year later, a Bozeman man is back in Gallatin County Justice Court after allegedly breaking his conditions of bond to continue a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl.

"Offenders are really adept at identifying very vulnerable kids. Kids who are willing to engage in high-risk behavior. And they encourage that behavior, which is a part of the grooming process," explains Bozeman Police Department's Captain Dana McNeil.

33-year-old Tyler Owen Hefty was arranged on charges of sexual intercourse without consent in 2023 after the victim’s parents discovered diary entries detailing the relationship.

Friday morning, Hefty was seen in Justice Court again after the victim’s parents found messages between Hefty and the victim on Pinterest.

Hefty had posted bond in March of this year, his conditions required GPS and alcohol monitoring, as well as no contact with the victim or her family.

McNeil says, "Bond is designed to ensure the individual is going to reappear on the charges they have. But those bond conditions are extremely important and what we want to see is that those conditions include things that protect victims."

According to Captain McNeil, in this case, the GPS and no-contact order was meant to protect the victim.

But according to the affidavit, the 14-year-old victim had been sneaking out to see Hefty, as well as discussing details of the case. In instances like this, McNeil says,

"We work with all sorts of services, including victim services, to help kids understand what they may be getting themselves into."

Tyler Hefty is now being held on charges of sexual intercourse without consent, sexual abuse of children, tampering with witnesses, and tampering with evidence.

His bond is set at $250,000—to be paid consecutively to his current bond.

Hefty's next court date is July 12th, 2024.