Rachel Bellesen called 911 on October 8, 2020, to report that she’d shot and killed her ex-husband Jacob Glace in a secluded area near Paradise, Montana, after he had attempted to sexually assault her. Bellesen told authorities she’d gone to meet her abusive ex-husband because he’d threatened to harm their son but then fired several shots toward him in self-defense after he assaulted her, Oxygen.com reported.
Glace had a conviction in Washington of domestic violence against Bellesen back in 2004 when they were still married and he’d also been accused by another partner since then of domestic violence on two separate occasions in the months before his death, the outlet wrote. Despite that, Bellesen’s attorneys said law enforecement did not properly investigate her claim of attempted rape and the day after Glace’s death, the mother-of-four was arrested and charged with deliberate homicide.
Bellesen’s arrest and charge of deliberate homicide are being explored in the second season of A&E’s “Accused: Guilty or Innocent,” which follows cases from the perspective of the accused and their defense team.
Where is Rachel Bellesen today?
Bellesen Continued Her Work at the Abbie Shelter, Which Supported Her Throughout Her Ordeal
Bellesen still works at the Abbie Shelter, a domestic violence shelter where she is the coordinator. She told AP News, “I consider my co-workers at the Abbie Shelter my Abbie family and they are my best friends in the world. To feel that level of support today, I could not ever say enough words to express my gratitude to them.” Many of her co-workers attended the hearing where she was permanently cleared of charges in her ex-husband’s death.
The director of the shelter, Hilary Shaw, told NBC Montana, “It gives voice to Rachel, it gives voice to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. It shows them that the system can sometimes work for them.” She continued, “We are relieved, and we are deeply grieved. The process of watching our coworker endure this trauma first from her abusive ex-husband and then from the legal system has been incredibly painful.”
Bellesen, a mother of four, is still happily married.
The Montana Attorney General’s Office Will Not Appeal the Judge’s Decision
After Bellesen was permanently cleared of all charges in May 2021 and the judge dismissed them with prejudice, the Montana Attorney General’s office said they would not be appealing that decision. The evidence all pointed toward Bellesen acting in self-defense, Daily Inter Lake reported.
In her ruling, the judge stated, “Bellesen showed signs of physical and emotional trauma consistent with sexual assault and attempted rape. She had scratches on her chest and her shirt was ripped open — the only remaining button was the top one — and her bra was torn.”
A spokesperson for the Montana Department of Justice told the Daily Inter Lake that “The court’s decision to dismiss with prejudice is irregular.” However, the statement continued, “given the high burden of proving the District Court abused its discretion in this case, the state will not be appealing.”
The special prosecutor assigned to the case admitted in court that they would likely never obtain enough evidence to warrant a conviction against Bellesen.