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Mitchell man pleads guilty to rape of 15-year-old girl

A 47-year-old Mitchell man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty this week to raping a 15-year-old girl. Steven Nichols pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape this week, stemming from a January incident in which he had non-consensual...

Mitchell Police Division. (Republic file photo)
Mitchell Police Division. (Republic file photo)

A 47-year-old Mitchell man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty this week to raping a 15-year-old girl.

Steven Nichols pleaded guilty to fourth-degree rape this week, stemming from a January incident in which he had non-consensual intercourse with the teenager. The juvenile claimed she was too afraid to say or do anything to stop the intercourse that occured in her home, according to court documents.

Nichols admitted to having intercourse with the girl and that she did not verbally consent, but he thought she had consented by her non-verbal cues, court documents state.

A first-degree rape charge was dropped in exchange for the guilty plea to fourth-degree rape. Fourth-degree rape is a Class 3 felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

First-degree rape is a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

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A pre-sentence investigation was ordered, including a pyschosexual assessment, and sentencing was scheduled for May.

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