Warning: this article mentions and includes details of sexual assault that may be disturbing to some readers.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) – A Monroe County judge sentenced 35-year-old Eric Montgomery to serve 36 years in prison on Friday, a month after a jury found him guilty of charges related to the rape of IU student Avery McMillan in August 2022.
20-year-old McMillan was found dead in Montgomery’s home last August. Her death was ruled a fentanyl overdose by the Monroe County coroner.
In July, a jury found Montgomery guilty of two felony charges including rape of someone unable to give consent, a level 3 felony, and attempted obstruction of justice, a level 6 felony.
The jury also found Montgomery guilty of giving alcohol to a minor, but the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor since alcohol was not the cause of McMillan’s death.
At Friday’s sentencing, Judge Valeri Haughton handed Montgomery the following sentence:
- Count 1 – Rape when victim is mentally disabled or deficient: 15 years
- Count 2 – Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor: 180 days
- Count 3 – Obstruction of Justice: 2 years
Montgomery was also handed 19 years by the judge for admitting in court as being a habitual offender. Counts 1 and 2 will be served concurrently. The third count and habitual offender sentence will be served consecutively. In all, Montgomery’s total sentence adds to 36 years in prison. Court documents show he has 452 days of time served.
The rape case dates back to August 2022, as students moved back to campus for the fall semester. Montgomery was accused of picking up McMillan on the night of August 17, who was returning home from a party with her friends.
Police say McMillan eventually was alone and unable to get into her apartment. That’s when Montgomery allegedly picked McMillan up and took her back to his house, where he was living with his mom and stepdad at the time.
Montgomery told investigators that the two had consensual sex, and drank alcohol in the home. McMillan was found unresponsive when authorities arrived at the home after a 911 call.
She was pronounced dead on the scene, and the coroner later ruled her death a fentanyl overdose.
Montgomery also stands accused of a 2021 rape after new DNA evidence tied him to the case shortly after McMillan’s death. Court documents show Montgomery will be back in court for the jury trial in that case on November 13th.
Avery McMillan was from Valparaiso, Indiana, and was entering her senior year at IU, her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, said in an August 2022 press release.
In the release, former chapter President Megan Dunbar described Avery as funny and “the first to give a big hug.”
For more information on sexual violence prevention and resources, see http://stopsexualviolence.iu.edu
Additional safety tips can be found at: https://protect.iu.edu/police-safety/safety-prevention/index.html