Local 18-year-old accused of sexual contact with three minors from May to JulyA Mitchell man accused of having sexual contact with three minors in less than two months is likely to be facing at least one felony rape charge.
By: Austin Kaus, The Daily Republic
A Mitchell man accused of having sexual contact with three minors in less than two months is likely to be facing at least one felony rape charge.
Dustin James Nordrum, 18, was arrested on both May 19 — 13 days after his 18th birthday — and July 8 for having sexual contact with minors.
According to court documents, Nordrum admitted to fondling a 15-year-old female’s breasts on either May 7 or May 8. He also admitted to sneaking into a 15-year-old girl’s house on June 28 and having sexual intercourse, and to receiving oral sex from a 14-year-old female on July 6. All the acts were consensual, according to court documents.
“It appears that he was targeting girls under age 16 to have sexual contact with,” said Detective Lt. Don Everson, of the Mitchell Department of Public Safety.
Court documents show Nordrum was charged with three counts of sexual contact with a child younger than 16, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Everson said Nordrum was mistakenly arrested for a misdemeanor when he instead should have been arrested for a felony charge for the June 28 incident. Everson said the confusion may have stemmed from a 2010 law change that further clarified the difference between sexual contact and sexual penetration.
Now, Everson anticipates a grand jury will pass down an indictment for fourth-degree rape, a Class 3 felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in the state penitentiary and a $20,000 fine.
“I am sure that’s going to happen,” Everson said.
The definition of fourth-degree rape is an act of sexual penetration if the victim is between 13 and 16 and the perpetrator is at least three years older than the victim.
Everson said it was unusual to have someone cited three times in less than two months for sexual contact with three victims.
He expects the judge in Nordrum’s eventual court appearance to take the frequency of reported events into account when choosing a sentence.
“I imagine he’s going to be treated more harshly,” Everson said. “We certainly hope so.”
“He’s a slow learner,” Everson added. “We’ll try to make a believer out of him yet.”