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Crime & Courts

Montana man charged with waterboarding boys

A Jefferson County man was charged Thursday after authorities accused him of waterboarding at least two boys and injuring a woman who tried to stop him.

William Albert Province, 42, also is suspected of making threats to a school, to Child Protective Services officials and to foster parents caring for his children.

Authorities have not identified his alleged victims.

Province made an initial appearance in Justice Court on Thursday morning on charges of partner or family member assault, and felony intimidation, along with three felony counts and one misdemeanor count of assault on a minor.

Province remained jailed in Boulder on $200,000 bail and was not available for comment, authorities said. Court officials did not have his paperwork, and it was not clear whether he had an attorney.

Province was arrested Tuesday night at the Helena airport when he returned from Alaska, Helena Police Chief Troy McGee said.

Police had been looking for Province since a woman reported that he broke her wrist and some fingers Dec. 5 when she tried to stop him from pouring water on the faces of two boys to simulate drowning, court records said.

Jefferson County Attorney Mathew Johnson said investigators suspect two other boys were subjected to the same punishment. The children were removed from Province’s home, court records said.

The woman said Province would straddle a boy with his hands over the child’s face and mouth and dump water on the face to simulate drowning, court records said.

Province “described it as a learning experience for them,” the woman said.

A witness said Province said that when he got back from Alaska, he was “going to the school, the CPS office and the foster parents’ house” and was going to “take care of everything and everyone.”

It was not clear which school he was threatening or why he was out of state.

The witness also said Province had military-grade armor, armor-piercing ammunition and several assault weapons and was ready to fight with law enforcement. Deputies were shown the body armor, according to the affidavit.

Jefferson County Sheriff Craig Doolittle told the Independent Record on Thursday that authorities recovered three rifles and some ammunition they believe belonged to Province. He declined to give further information because the case was still being investigated.

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