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Shelby Public Schools counselor Anthony “Tony” Heaton was arrested on Friday, Sept. 27, after an investigation by the Cut Bank Police Department into an “inappropriate relationship” with a minor student. Heaton has been charged with felony sexual abuse of children, felony indecent exposure and felony tampering with witnesses or informants. Assistant Cut Bank Police Chief Josh Simonds, far right, was among the arresting officers. Heaton was taken into custody without incident.

On Friday, Sept. 27, around 9 a.m., law enforcement officers from the Cut Bank Police Department, Toole County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Marshall’s served an arrest warrant on Shelby Public School Counselor, Anthony (Tony) Heaton. 

The arrest comes after an investigation into an inappropriate relationship Heaton had with a former minor student. Heaton, formerly of Deer Lodge, Montana, is in his second year with Shelby Schools after working as a counselor for Poplar Schools.

Heaton has been charged in Glacier County District Court and arrested on the charges of Felony Sexual Abuse of Children, Felony Indecent Exposure and Felony Tampering with Witnesses or Informants. 

According to Cut Bank Chief of Police Mike Schultz, “The crimes in this incident were committed in both Glacier and Toole Counties. The crime was first reported to the Cut Bank Police Department, who handled the investigation.”

It is alleged Heaton solicited nude photos of a minor under age 16 through electronic communication. He also sent nude photos of himself to the same minor under age 16.

This case is still under investigation, pending information retrieved from a search warrant of Heaton’s  home and electronic communication devices. Further information will be provided as it is received and cleared for release.

Heaton posted $100,000 bond and was released on Monday, Sept. 30. His initial appearance is set for Oct. 9 in Glacier County District Court.

“Our department recognizes this case may be more widespread than we have  currently investigated at this point. We also understand the impact this arrest may have on students and staff,” said Cut Bank Chief of Police Michael Schultz. He, along with Toole County Sheriff Donna Whitt, and Shelby Schools Superintendent Elliott Crump were at Shelby High School last Friday to handle questions and concerns arising from the incident.

If you have any information regarding this case or would like to report a similar incident, please contact the lead investigator on the case, Assistant Chief Joshua Simonds, by email at jsimonds@ cityofcutbank.org, or by phone at (406) 873-2289.

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