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Gulfport man convicted of sexual battery

Michael Lee Montgomery, 50, enters the courtroom on Thursday before testifying in his defense.

CARRIE PRATT | Times

Michael Lee Montgomery, 50, enters the courtroom on Thursday before testifying in his defense.

LARGO — A Gulfport man who twice before had escaped rape charges was convicted of three counts of sexual battery on Thursday for raping and humiliating women he picked up on the streets of St. Petersburg.

Michael Lee Montgomery, 50, a marine mechanic, faces up to 15 years in prison for each of the charges of which he was convicted.

"It's been a long time coming," Assistant State Attorney William Loughery said.

Montgomery first was arrested on a sexual battery charge in 1996 in Sarasota. Authorities said they had to drop the charges because of inconsistent statements from witnesses.

Montgomery was arrested again in 2008 in Pinellas County on sexual battery charges. He went to trial in April. A jury acquitted him of some charges and deadlocked on others.

This time, the charges stuck.

Montgomery was convicted of three counts of sexual battery against two women who testified against him. He also was convicted of misdemeanor battery against a third woman who did not appear in court, but whose testimony was read aloud from a transcript of a previous trial.

There was a decidedly lurid aspect to the trial because of Montgomery's habits.

According to prosecutors and the two women who appeared in court to accuse him, Montgomery smeared feces on them and photographed them.

Montgomery, speaking in his own defense, admitted asking one of the women to pose for "sexy pictures" while covered in feces, and of acts with feces with one of the other women. But he said everything was consensual, and that the three women he picked up were prostitutes who agreed to sex for money.

Police recovered hundreds of Montgomery's Polaroid pictures.

Montgomery is scheduled to be sentenced today.

Gulfport man convicted of sexual battery 01/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 14, 2010 10:14pm]
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