Ruth BrownOpinion Editor
Chris Jones, age 21, pleaded guilty on Sept. 30 to multiple rape charges and a kidnapping that occurred in the Brookings area last spring.
“[Jones] pled guilty to three counts of rape in the second degree, which is a class one felony and has a maximum sentence of 50 years in the penitentiary and or a $50,000 fine for each count,” said Clyde Calhoon, the State’s Attorney for Brookings County. “In addition he pled guilty to one charge of kidnapping, which carries a maximum sentence of life in the penitentiary and or a $50,000 fine.”
Calhoon said the sentencing Jones faces will be a serious action.
“He is facing four serious felonies …the judge (Circuit Judge David Gienapp) accepted his pleas on Thursday and found there was factual basis for the pleas,” Calhoon said. “He was also ordered to undergo a pre-sentence investigation which includes a psychosexual evaluation.”
Jones is not eligible for parole until 50 percent of his time is served.
In exchange for Jones’ four guilty pleas, the two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of attempted robbery, as well as the additional rape charges that Jones was originally charged with, have been dismissed, according to Calhoon.
“Until his sentencing nothing is set in concrete,” said Calhoon.
Jones has been held at the Brookings County Detention Center since his April 20 arrest. Judge Gienapp ordered Jones be held in custody without bond.
Jones’ next court appearance will be 11 a.m. on Nov. 9 in the Brookings County Courthouse.
Jones was arrested on April 20 in connection with three sexual assaults that occurred in Brookings, two on SDSU’s campus.
Brookings Police Chief Jeff Miller called Jones a “serial rapist” at the time of his arrest and said that he had become more emboldened with every assault he committed.
The two campus sexual assaults occurred on March 29 and April 7, both shortly after midnight. The first incident happened near the Hilton M. Briggs Library, while the second was in a parking lot near Young and Caldwell residence halls. He also confessed to the off-campus kidnapping and rape that occurred April 20.
“I feel safer knowing he isn’t around but the fact that it happened on our campus is freaky,” said Lisa Koch, a senior advertising major at SDSU. “I definitely try to not walk alone.”
During all three assaults, Jones was armed with a knife and demanded money from the women. The third victim that was attacked was forced to drive to another location where he raped her and later forced her to drive him to an ATM and withdraw money.
#1.1655932:2266018574.jpg:Chris Jones:Chris Jones:File Photo