A Billings man was sentenced earlier this week to a century in prison for multiple counts of child sex abuse.
Asia Carl Soapes, 40, raped two underage girls, one of them several times over a period of about four years. Initial charges filed against Soapes in 2021 prompted a second survivor of his abuse to speak with investigators. Following his conviction on four counts of sex crimes earlier this year, Yellowstone County District Judge Michael G. Moses sentenced Soapes on Monday to the maximum penalty for sexual intercourse without consent in which the victim is minor.
Soapes was arrested in late July 2021 and pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, the Gazette previously reported. The charges came after an investigation by the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, the Billings Police Department and Child and Family Services. An anonymous tip was made to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, and the ensuing investigation revealed that Soapes molested and raped a girl repeatedly from the time she was 10 until she was 14.
Within days of Soapes’s arrest, a woman contacted BPD and reported that Soapes raped her in 2009. She was 17 years old at the time. The abuse occurred while she was asleep at Soapes’s residence in Billings. Her report to police resulted in Yellowstone County prosecutors charging Soapes with an additional count of sexual intercourse without consent.
Soapes maintained his innocence through his three-day trial in February 2023, with Arielle Dean and Hallie Bishop serving as prosecutors. Jurors deliberated for about two hours before returning with guilty verdicts on all four counts.
At his sentencing Monday, Judge Moses sentenced Soapes to 50 years in prison for one count of sexual assault, 100 years for one count of sexual intercourse without consent, 50 years for a second count of sexual intercourse without consent and 25 years for the final count of sexual intercourse without consent. Moses also imposed a parole restriction on Soapes’s sentence for 25 years and ordered that he pay restitution to the Montana Crime Victim Compensation Program.
The majority of all sexual assault victims are under age 30, according to data from the non-profit The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Younger people, especially girls, are at the highest risk of experiencing rape and sexual assault.
Anonymous reports of child sex abuse can be made through the National Child Abuse Hotline at 800-4AC-HILD (422-4453). The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services also maintains a 24-hour hotline for child abuse reports at 1 (866) 820-5437.