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South Dakota man gets life in prison for raping, kidnapping ex

Harry David Evans

CUSTER, S.D. — A Pringle man will spend the rest of his life in prison after raping and kidnapping his ex-girlfriend in 2017 in Custer County.

Harry David Evans, 61, was sentenced March 22 at the state courthouse in Custer by Judge Jeff Davis after a jury found him guilty of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree rape, first-degree burglary, aggravated assault, stalking and violating a protection order.

Davis sentenced Evans to the maximum punishment for each crime: life without parole for kidnapping, 50 years in prison for rape, 25 years for burglary, 15 years for aggravated assault, and two years for the stalking and protection order violation charges. The judge ordered Evans to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees and to not contact his victim.

Evans stalked his ex-girlfriend from July 27, 2017, until Sept. 6, 2017, when he committed the other crimes, according to his indictment.

On that day, Evans entered the victim’s house with a gun and knife through an unlocked window after cutting open the screen, Tracy Kelley, Custer County state’s attorney, previously said. Evans then forced the woman, who was in her 50s, to take Ambien, a sedative, when she tried to resist. He then duct-taped the conscious victim, wrapped her in a blanket, drove her away in a car, raped her and brought her back home.

The day after the rape and kidnap, Evans was arrested at the Prairie Winds Casino on the Pine Ridge Reservation where police searched his hotel room and his car after moving it onto state property, according to a motion by Ellery Grey, his private defense attorney. Police found Ambien, a knife, duct tape, .22-caliber rounds and other items in his car.

The 2017 kidnapping-rape incident wasn't the first time Evans had threatened and abused women he used to have relationships with, according to court records.

In late 2016, Evans trapped the same victim in her basement for an "extended period of time" and threatened to rape and harm her, according to a motion signed by Kelley. On Jan. 1, 2017, he threatened to kill her and himself. A month later, he carried his victim into her room where he held her against her will, threatened to rape her and again threatened murder-suicide.

Court records show Evans was convicted of felony stalking in Wyoming in 2009.

In 1993, Evans broke into his ex-wife's home, held a gun over her and threatened to rape her, according to the motion signed by Kelley. Evans was convicted of attempted aggravated assault in Fall River County for that incident. The next year, Evans violated a protection order against his ex-wife by breaking into her car and leaving a deer head and bullet inside. He then broke into her home and was found sleeping in her bed with a loaded rifle.