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Sexual assault charges against transgender man reduced to misdemeanors as part of plea agreement

Crime Watch

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Katie ‘Kade’ Jane Pughe | Fremont County Jail

ST. ANTHONY — Prosecutors have reduced felony sexual assault charges to misdemeanors against a woman in the process of transitioning to a man.

Katie “Kade” Jane Pughe, 22, was charged with two felony counts of forcible penetration by use of a foreign object for sexually assaulting a woman lying in bed next to a young child in May.

At a hearing on Sept. 10, Pughe signed a plea agreement with Fremont County Prosecutor Marcia Murdoch that stipulates the charges be amended to three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. Pughe admitted to sexually assaulting the woman in multiple ways.

Investigators were made aware of the incident on May 15 after being called to Madison Memorial Hospital for the report of a rape, according to court documents.

RELATED | Transgender man accused of sexually assaulting woman

“(The victim) stated that the whole time this encounter was happening, she was trying to not make a lot of noise because she was scared that Pughe was intoxicated (and) that (Pughe would) hit or hurt (the toddler),” according to court documents.

In a recorded phone call, the victim confronted Pughe and said “it was basically rape,” according to court documents. During the call, “Pughe stated that he thought they were role-playing.”

Each misdemeanor count of sexual battery is punishable with up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Pughe is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 9 by magistrate Judge Faren Z. Eddins.

Pughe remains held in the Madison County Jail women’s facility on $50,000 bail.

The Associated Press Style Guide states transgender is “an adjective that describes people whose gender identity does not match the sex or gender they were identified as having at birth … (and) does not require what are often known as sex reassignment or gender confirmation procedures.” The AP recommends writers use a person’s preferred pronouns.