Spearfish man sentenced in rape case

Courtesy photo

DEADWOOD — A Spearfish man recently convicted of attempted third-degree rape he committed when he was 16 years old was sentenced by 4th Circuit Court Judge Michelle Comer at the Lawrence County Courthouse Dec. 30, 2021.

Tayan Jerry Patterson, now 18, was indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury Sept. 2, 2020, and charged with third-degree rape, a Class 2 felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. He was charged as an adult.

Lawrence County States Attorney John Fitzgerald said that if a juvenile is 16 years of age or older and commits the crime of rape, they are prosecutable and indictable and can be sentenced as adults.

“That’s the law,” he said. “Rape is a pretty serious crime, even if you’re 16.”

On Oct. 7, 2021, Patterson pleaded guilty to attempted third-degree rape.

Fitzgerald said the punishment for attempted third degree rape carries half the maximum punishment of third-degree rape.

Patterson was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

“Half of it can be served on work release – electronic monitoring,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s under a five-year penitentiary sentence that’s suspended on the condition that he follow through on all the terms of his probation. He has to register as a sex offender. Follow all the recommendations of his psychosexual sexual offender evaluation. And, of course, have no contact with the victim.”

A suspended execution of sentence is a sentencing option available to a court in which a defendant is placed on probation with an incarceration amount preset in case of revocation. A court can execute the preset sentence if the probation is violated and revoked.

The remaining 30 days of the jail sentence must be served as actual jail time and all jail time must be served by April 1. Patterson was also placed on four years probation and ordered to pay court costs of $214.91 and ordered to reimburse Lawrence County $2,847 in court-appointed attorney fees.

The rape is alleged to have occurred March 8, 2020 when the female victim was 16 and was incapable of giving consent because of intoxication.

“The victim was highly intoxicated from alcohol to the point where she could not give consent,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said he believes the sentence is appropriate and considers a lot of factors that go into a case where the person is 16 at the time.

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