A Pennington County jury Friday convicted a 34-year-old Rapid City man of raping a young girl.
The jury of six men and six women found Jesse Johnson guilty of first-degree rape, sexual contact with a child under 13 and aggravated incest. Johnson was arrested in February 2012. He's being held without bond in the Pennington County Jail.
"I'm very proud of the jury for reaching this decision," Pennington County Deputy State's Attorney Scott Roetzel said after hearing the verdicts that ended the four-day trial.
"I'm very proud of the little girl for standing up to the abuse. She finally has a small piece of justice," Roetzel said.
The 9-year-old victim testified during the trial that the abuse started when she was 6 years old and continued for at least 18 months.
The trial presented several challenges because Johnson is deaf. Sign language interpreters were used and a video of the trial was made.
Johnson faces a maximum penalty of life in prison for the first-degree rape conviction. Each additional charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
Circuit Judge Janine Kern has scheduled Johnson's sentencing for July 15.