Lockwood school counselor quits after sex crime arrest
BILLINGS – Joseph Leonard Borgstrom, who resigned as Lockwood School Board administrator last week, is in jail in Yellowstone County on charges of rape and sexual assault.
According to the inmate list at the Yellowstone County Detention Center, Borgstom was incarcerated on Friday, May 7.
Lockwood Schools Superintendent Tobin Novasio has confirmed that Borgstrom was a school board administrator until recently. Borgstrom informed Lockwood schools on Friday that he was resigning his post as school trustee, a post he held for seven years, according to Novasio.
Court documents indicate that an investigation has revealed that Borgstrom allegedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl. The victim was taken to the Billings Clinic for a medical evaluation.
Prosecutors allege that Borgstrom penetrated the girl with a sex toy which was found by detectives in a locked safe in Borgstrom’s home after a search warrant was obtained.
Novasio said on Monday that school board trustees were elected and for that reason no background checks were done on them. It is not known at this point if Borgstrom has a criminal history.
Novasio also pointed out that while administrators make policy and staffing decisions, they don’t have more access to students. He says the district plans to work with the Montana School Association on an audit and review to ensure there are policies established to keep students safe. “We know that parents entrust us with the most precious thing and we take it seriously,” he said.
Lockwood Schools posted the following message to Facebook on Sunday morning:
The Lockwood School District is aware of the allegations related to the personal conduct of a former board member. We have refrained from making a public statement regarding this case so far in an effort to protect the anonymity of the potential victim (s).
Following an oral resignation, the term of the former trustee officially ends on May 11, 2021, when the board of directors will reorganize and sit on the newly elected directors. In accordance with school district policy, the former trustee will not be present or have access to school district property and will not interact with students or staff.
The school district takes this issue seriously. As a precaution, the school district undertook a review of the former trustee’s conduct to determine whether the former trustee broke any law or policy while serving in an official capacity or in some personal capacity.
All students and staff will have access to support services to provide necessary assistance on matters arising from these allegations.
The school district and its leadership team will continue to coordinate and cooperate with law enforcement and other officials to ensure that the school district preserves and maintains a safe and secure learning environment.
Borgstrom, 61, faces felony charges of sex without consent and sexual assault. He is scheduled to appear in Yellowstone County District Court for the first time on Tuesday.