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Ex-Chicago ex-con pleads not guilty to raping SD woman; faces possible life sentence

PIERRE, S.D. -- A former Chicago man charged with raping a Pierre woman on Sept. 9 pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at his arraignment in state court.

Eleghba Lipsey, 45, charged with a count of third-degree rape of a 40-year-old woman when she was incapable of consent because of intoxication or other comparable reasons, faces up to life in prison if he were convicted.

That’s because his long record of felony crimes in Chicago increases the possible penalty for this one, state Judge Mark Barnett told him.

Hughes County State’s Attorney Roxanne Hammond listed in a court filing at least seven drug-related felony convictions Lipsey has in Illinois’ Cook County, in Chicago, from 1997 to 2016, which makes him a habitual offender under South Dakota law, she argued.

Having at least three previous felony convictions would bump the Class 2 felony count of third-degree rape, which has a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, to be treated for sentencing as a Class B felony, which has a top sentence of life in prison, Hammond and court services officials told Barnett.

Lipsey’s next court appearance is Nov. 13. His bond was set at $10,000.