High school sports referee in Great Falls accused of raping young girl, 13

Police arrested a Great Falls man on Monday on suspicion of two counts of rape after a 13-year-old girl’s parents read about the alleged incidents in a journal.

Robert Arnold Dunkerson, 59, was arrested on a $250,000 warrant.

According to Mark Beckman, the Montana High School Sports Association executive director and commissioner of the Montana Officials Association, Dunkerson referees football and basketball for grades nine through 12. He said there will be potential sanctions for Dunkerson in this situation.

“With that kind of charge he would be suspended immediately until the allegations against him, an investigation, or possible court case is completed,” he said.

The following information comes directly from court documents. The defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty.

A Great Falls Police Department officer responded to a Great Falls residence on Jan. 21 to a report of a sex offense. When the officer arrived, he spoke to the girl’s parents. They said the girl had placed her diary out where her parents could see it, something she commonly did when she was having a hard time vocalizing what was bothering her.

When the parents saw an entry about Dunkerson sexually assaulting her, they spoke with the girl. She confirmed that Dunkerson had raped and sexually assaulted her on more than one occasion. The girl’s mother confronted Dunkerson, who denied the allegations.

In a Monday forensic interview with police, the girl said Dunkerson had been sexually abusing her for approximately seven years with “too many (events) to count.”

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