A 62-year-old Mitchell man was sentenced to 15 years in prison following pleading guilty to first-degree rape.
Raymond Stransky received the sentence from Judge Chris Giles on Tuesday at the Davison County Public Safety Center. Stransky received a 25-year sentence with 10 years suspended in the case, in which the victim was 5 years old.
Giles said that the victim, who is a family member, has reported having nightmares over the crime. The judge waived the fine in the case, but issued Stransky to pay for court fees, the cost of a psychosexual evaluation, and reimbursing the county’s prosecution fees. Stransky will also receive credit for 127 days served in jail, as well.
“There has been stress and conflict in this entire family over this,” Giles said. “You can’t put this child back in the position they were in before this happened.”
Under South Dakota state law, rape or sexual contact with a child carries the mandatory minimum of 15 years in the state penitentiary. Stransky was arrested May 13, and pleaded guilty on July 23 to first-degree rape, a Class C felony which carries the maximum penalty of life in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Stransky's lawyer, Douglas Papendick, asked the judge to consider mitigating circumstances in receiving a sentence of less than 15 years. He noted that Stransky had no prior history of criminal offenses, has not associated with others with criminal tendencies and was deemed as a low risk to reoffend.
"I would like to say that I am very sorry for what happened," Stransky said, speaking to the court. "I have no excuse as to why I did it. It just happened. I didn't mean to hurt anyone physically or emotionally or mentally. I just made a bad choice and a mistake. And I'm very sorry. That's all I can say."
Davison County Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Bob O’Keefe asked for the mandatory minimum to be applied, because a crime like this has a long-lasting effect on victims.
"This behavior in this case really can't be explained," Davison County Assistant States Attorney Bob O'Keefe said. "But the heinous nature of it remains, and we're asking for 15 years in the state penitentiary."
Giles said that he appreciated Stransky’s remorse but said the impact on the victim could not be understated.
“It’s a bad choice, and it doesn’t appear you’ve done anything like this before,” Giles said to Stransky. “My concern is that we have a 5-year-old victim who you have significantly affected. They will be damaged by this for many years to come.”