Court rejects Plankinton man’s appeal in rape caseErnest Albert Fisher Jr. was found guilty of multiple counts of child sex abuse in two separate trials.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
PLANKINTON -- A Plankinton man convicted of sexually abusing a child has lost his appeal.
After a three-day trial in February 2012 in Mitchell, 37-year-old Ernest Albert Fisher Jr. was found guilty of multiple counts of child sex abuse.
Fisher was sentenced to 60 years in prison with five years suspended for first-degree rape by Judge Sean O’Brien. For the multiple remaining charges, Fisher was sentenced to prison terms to be served concurrently, or at the same time, with the first-degree rape sentence.
Fisher was first convicted of the crimes in 2008, but was given a new trial after the South Dakota Supreme Court found the trial court should not have allowed evidence of admitted evidence of Fisher’s prior conviction for sexual contact with a child.
After being convicted again last year, Fisher and his attorney Chris Nipe, of Mitchell, again appealed to the state Supreme Court, this time claiming that evidence Fisher asked his brother-in-law Tyler Dobras, an inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary, to write a letter and sign an affidavit discrediting the victim’s accusations should not have been allowed.
The Supreme Court, in a decision filed March 13, rejected the argument and found that Fisher’s “act of fabricating evidence does not persuade the jury by illegitimate and unfair means,” the decision says.
The Supreme Court also rejected Fisher’s argument that the state’s indictment was defective because it duplicated charges or incorrectly stated the law.
O’Brien, the trial judge, “correctly determined that the error was not fatal, and did not abuse its discretion by denying (Fisher’s) motion to dismiss” several counts of the indictment.
Fisher is currently incarcerated at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.