Saturday, 29 January 2011

SIDS: North Dakota: Ray Leon Huether convicted

January 21, 2011 - By DAVE CALDWELL,
A former Minot man convicted Wednesday in federal court on child pornography charges was not only convicted in state court last year of gross sexual imposition for performing sex acts with a child, but also served a 10-year prison term in another state after being linked to the deaths of two of his own infant children.
Ray Leon Huether, 42, of Fargo, was convicted of the Class AA felony imposition charge after Minot police received a report of a 6-year-old child who had been sexually assaulted. The child told police she had been involved in sexual acts with Huether, who at the time was in a relationship with her mother while living in Minot. Huether later moved to Fargo to pursue employment there.
Huether had previously been convicted in Billings, Mont., of negligent homicide following the death of his 2 1/2-month-old daughter in March 1995 while Huether was living in that city. The girl was in the sole care of Huether at the time of her death, which occurred only seven months after Huether's 7-month-old son also died while in his sole care. While the boy's death was determined to be related to sudden infant death syndrome, prosecutors alleged that the baby girl had been suffocated when Huether placed a pillow over her bassinette. After a judge ruled that he would allow testimony related to the boy's death, Huether entered a no contest plea and was convicted.
Investigation into the sexual assault also brought authorities into contact with a large amount of pornography, including child pornography. The pornography charges were severed from the GSI charge, with federal prosecutors assuming jurisdiction over the pornography cases.
Huether was subsequently convicted by a Minot jury of gross sexual imposition and sentenced to serve 30 years in the state penitentiary.
Huether appealed both the Montana conviction and the GSI conviction, but both were upheld in the states' respective supreme courts.
Meanwhile, the federal case against Huether moved forward, ending Wednesday with his jury conviction on receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors and possession of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors. The receipt charge carries a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years, while the possession charge mandates five years up to a maximum of 20 years.
Huether's sentencing in federal court has been scheduled for April 18 in Bismarck.

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