Three Mitchell men accused of sex crimes plead guilty
Three Mitchell men accused of sex crimes within a month-long span each pleaded guilty Tuesday to their separate charges. Joshua Bullis, 31, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to first-degree rape during court at the Davison County Public Safety Center. The conviction carries a mandatory punishment of life in prison and a $50,000 fine. Plus, a judge can impose court fees, prosecution costs, restitution and court appointed attorney fees.
Bullis was indicted in November for the rape charge, to which he originally pleaded not guilty in November.
According to court documents, Bullis sexually abused a young child while video chatting on the Internet between Aug. 14 and Nov. 5 at his home in Mitchell. According to a plea agreement, the state agreed to drop other charges of sexual contact with a child younger than 16 and manufacturing child pornography.
Peter McKeen, 42, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to sexual contact with a child younger than 16. The conviction carries a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
McKeen was indicted in November for the charge. He admitted in court that he touched a young female for his own sexual gratification between Oct. 1 and Nov. 1.
Since he is convicted of the crime, McKeen will have to register as a sex offender, First Circuit Court Judge Tim Bjorkman said.
Dustin Chernotik, 19, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape, which means the victim was between 13 and 16 years old and the perpetrator is more than three years older than the victim. The conviction carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.
According to a plea agreement, the state dropped a second fourth-degree rape charge.
Bjorkman ordered a psychosexual evaluation and a presentence investigation for each of the men, and scheduled each case for sentencing in March.