Man accused of rape also hypnotist
A Mitchell man charged with two counts of fourth-degree rape is also a comedy hypnotist who has performed at school and community events in South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska.
Anthony Nuss, 24, was charged with the crimes in March and pleaded not guilty during circuit court in April.
According to the Mitchell Police Division, Nuss admitted in his initial interview with law enforcement March 17 that he is a hypnotist and goes by the name Tony Nuss.
Nuss' Facebook page states he is a comedy hypnotist and has performed shows in the area. According to Nuss' review page on gigmasters.com, he has performed his act at proms in Hawarden, Iowa, Harvey, N.D., and Doland. He has also performed at a Christmas party in Parkston, a birthday party in Columbus, Neb., and a community event in Buffalo.
Investigator Joel Reinesch confirmed Nuss' date of birth is the same as what is shown on the Facebook page.
"Just from the pictures on his Facebook page, I can tell you that's the same person we arrested," Reinesch said.
Nuss is accused of receiving sex acts from a female between 13 and 16 years of age. According to court documents, the sexual activity took place on the same day at the beginning of October, once at Doty Park near Longfellow Elementary School in Mitchell and once in front of the victim's home in Nuss' vehicle.
"It's important to remember these are just allegations," Reinesch said. "He hasn't pleaded guilty nor has he been convicted."
Reinesch said Nuss is not a suspect in any other crimes the division is investigating. He said Nuss has a "very limited" criminal background.
According to a statewide background check, Nuss has six traffic violations in the last
six years -- five of them in Davison County, one in Brown County.
The gigmasters website says Nuss charges $600 to $3,600 per event and will travel 3,000 miles to perform.
A biography section on the website describes him as "without a shadow of a doubt, the most electrifying and versatile performer in the industry today. His shows are the most exciting, safe, clean, family-oriented, raunchy, innovative, impromptu, exhilarating, and captivating.
The skits he pulls off make you question 'What just happened?' Simplicity is his best attribute, his humility is unmatched, and when you actually meet him in person you will come to love him since his presence gives you the warm fuzzy feeling. His techniques have been trained and perfected by the top hypnotists in the world today, which has allowed him to hypnotize you in over thirty different ways."
Reinesch said the case is something that raises awareness for organizations looking to hire anyone to perform at a function. He suggests a school or organization conduct a background check when hiring any performer whether it be a hypnotist, magician or disc jockey.
If there's no criminal history, it's a good idea to check references or with other places of employment to get a good feel for any warning signs of suspicious activity, Reinesch said. An in-person interview is also a good idea, Reinesch said.
Each charge of fourth-degree rape carries a maximum penalty upon conviction of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.