- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A federal appeals court has reinstated a prison sentence for a Mobridge man convicted of raping two of his friends’ young daughters.

Forty-five-year-old Richard Litschewski was convicted in 1997 of first-degree rape, third-degree rape and sexual contact with a minor. He was ordered to serve three consecutives terms for a total of 27 ½ years.

In 2011, the state Supreme Court reversed the order of Litschewski’s sentences because they were not in the chronological order they occurred.

Litschewski filed a petition in 2013 claiming his rearranged sentence violated the double jeopardy clause. A federal district court agreed, lessening his sentence by 7 ½ years.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reinstated Litschewski’s 27 ½-year sentence, saying the state court’s rearrangement did not exceed the punishment authorized by law.

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