Judge refuses to accept plea deal for accused rapist
Judge Doug Mattson said Thursday that he cannot accept a plea deal that called for seven years in prison for John Wendall Dickie IV, 20, of Minot Air Force Base, who is accused of beating and raping a young woman over the course of a few weeks from August through October 2020.
The proposed plea deal called for Dickie to plead guilty to Class B felony sexual imposition – a charge that was initially charged as Class AA felony gross sexual imposition – and Class B felony burglary and Class C felony domestic violence causing serious bodily injury. Other charges were dismissed. Dickie would have been sentenced to 10 years in prison, with three years suspended, on the sexual imposition and burglary charges, to be served concurrently, followed by five years, all suspended, and consecutive to the sentences on the first two charges, for the domestic violence charge.
The alleged victim in the case was known to Dickie, who has been in custody at the Ward County Jail on $100,000 cash or corporate surety bond since Oct. 22, 2020.
Mattson said he had reviewed the case and the allegations are among most violent he has ever seen. He noted that it had originally been charged as a Class AA felony, the most serious charge under state law which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Mattson said at the hearing for Dickie on Thursday that “former deputy state’s attorney” Todd Schwarz was the prosecutor who filed in June to amend the AA felony charge to a B felony. Schwarz lied to Judge Todd Cresap about why evidence in another case had not been turned over to the defense as required. The Class AA felony gross sexual imposition charge against that defendant was dismissed because taking the matter to trial would have violated the man’s right to a speedy trial. Cresap said in June he would have to consider whether to report Schwarz to a disciplinary board over the issue. Ward County State’s Attorney Roza Larson told The Minot Daily News after the paper inquired about Schwarz’s employment status that “the matter would be dealt with.”
On Thursday, after Mattson refused to accept the proposed plea deal, Dickie entered not guilty pleas to the charges against him. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 6 before Mattson.