Man accused of sex crimes in 4 counties reaches plea deal

ABERDEEN (AP) – An Aberdeen man facing 28 felony incest and statutory rape charges in four counties has pleaded guilty to two counts during court appearances this week in Brookings and Webster.

The Aberdeen American News reports that 59-year-old Gregory Rutherford is charged in Brown, Day, Brookings and Codington counties. Charges in Codington and Day counties will be dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Rutherford faces a total of up to 20 years in prison on the two counts in Brookings and Brown counties.

Brown County State’s Attorney Chris White told the Aberdeen American News that Rutherford pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated incest. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Rutherford also pleaded guilty to one count of felony incest at the Brookings County Courthouse on Tuesday, the Aberdeen American News reports. That charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Sentencing in Brookings is Jan. 29, White said. Sentencing on the Brown County charge is set for Jan. 30 or Feb. 13, if it needs to be rescheduled.

White told the Aberdeen American News that the charges in Codington County were filed first and sparked a broader statewide investigation and subsequent charges in Brown, Day and Brookings counties. Rutherford faced at total of three felony incest charges in Brookings County.

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