Mitchell man pleads guilty to raping child

September 28, 2022

MITCHELL, S.D.–A Mitchell man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to first-degree rape of a minor under the age of 13.

Forty three year old Robert Gerstenecker faced multiple counts of child pornography and was scheduled to go to trial in October. Several other charges were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

A tip from a reporting party who saw what was believed to be child pornography during a video call with Gerstenecker led authorities to obtain a search warrant of Gerstenecker’s residence.

Officers allegedly found methamphetamine and a hidden cell phone which contained an SD card with images and videos of child pornography, including some with a man believed to be

Gerstenecker engaging in sexual acts with a female who was under 13 years old.

Under the plea deal, a 75-year prison sentence was recommended.

Gerstenecker will be sentenced in December.