Man admits to rape

BROOKINGS – A Brookings man faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced in December for first-degree rape.

Robert Hanshaw, 31, pleaded guilty in Brookings County Circuit Court on Tuesday to two counts of rape. The Class C felonies are each punishable by up to life in prison and a $50,000 fine and have mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years in prison.

Hanshaw admitted this week to sexually assaulting two young girls between October 2015 and November 2016. He also took pornographic photos and videos of the acts and distributed some of the material.

Google contacted law enforcement in November 2016 after it detected child pornography and traced it to Hanshaw’s email address in Brookings, State’s Attorney Abigail Howard said.

A Brookings County grand jury indicted Hanshaw in December 2016 on eight counts of first-degree rape, 11 counts of possessing, manufacturing or distributing child pornography, and one count of sexual contact with a child under 16.

In exchange for Hanshaw’s two guilty pleas, all other charges were dismissed, and no new charges will be brought against him.

Howard said Hanshaw has already been debriefed by law enforcement, and the plea deal stipulates that he agree to testify against co-defendants in the case. Howard said she reserved the right to make an argument at sentencing.

After accepting the pleas, Circuit Judge Greg Stoltenburg ordered a psychosexual evaluation and a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 19.

Contact Jill Fier at [email protected]

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