A former Pennington County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to six counts of the possession, manufacture and distribution of child pornography
William S. Wray, 27, made the admission in court Tuesday. He faces a potential maximum sentence of 60 years in prison when he is sentenced on Aug. 29.
Wray was investigated after the mother of a young boy filed a complaint with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office in early January.
Wray, who had worked for the sheriff’s office since August of 2010, was immediately suspended from duty. The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation was called in to investigate the allegations.
Wray was first charged with one count of child pornography and one count of sexual contact with a child after photos were found in his apartment. A grand jury indictment changed the charges to 28 counts of possession, manufacture and distribution of child pornography.
Pennington County State’s Attorney Glenn Brenner said in January that Wray had “targeted his victim.”
Wray had only two months left on his probationary period with the sheriff’s office when he was terminated because of the investigation.
According to the terms of a plea agreement, prosecutors have agreed to request 10-year sentences with five years suspended on each of five counts and a 10-year sentence on the sixth count. All sentences would be served consecutively, making Wray’s potential maximum sentence 35 years.
Judge Mary P. Thorstenson, however, reminded Wray that she could sentence him to the maximum sentence of 10 years on each count he was pleading guilty to, or 60 years in prison, and $120,000 in fines.
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