Spearfish man sentenced in statutory rape case

Courtesy photo

DEADWOOD — A local man convicted of statutory rape was sentenced by 4th Circuit Court Judge Michelle Comer at the Lawrence County Courthouse Oct. 7.

Maxwell Kenneth Nickles, 21, of Spearfish was indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury Sept. 2, 2020 and charged with two counts of fourth degree rape, each a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.

On Aug. 26, Nickels pleaded guilty to one of the counts and Oct. 7 was granted a suspended imposition of sentence and placed on five years’ probation. He was also ordered to serve 120 days in jail and following the jail sentence, to complete 60 days on work release electronic monitoring, pay court costs of $193.50, have no unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 except for his siblings, have no access to any sexually explicit material, and have no contact with the victim or her family.  

Court documents say the rape occurred in December 2018 against a victim who was 13 years old at the time.

Fourth degree rape involves a minor child who is at least 13 years of age, but less than 16 years of age and the perpetrator is at least three years older than the victim.

Nickels was 18 years old at the time of the incident.

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