Dickinson man sentenced for 2017 gunpoint sexual assault
A Dickinson man, who fled to Florida after committing a sexual assault, will serve at least seven years of a 20-year sentence imposed after Southwest District Judge James Gion suspended 13 years of the sentence in District Court on Tuesday.
Stephen Wynn, 51, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in her home at gunpoint in Dickinson in December 2017. According to court records, Wynn was charged with gross sexual imposition, a Class AA felony, terrorizing and criminal trespassing, both Class C felonies, and a Class A misdemeanor violation of a protection order.
After his crimes, Wynn fled to Brooksville, Fla., but was later captured in a United States Marshals Service criminal warrant operation conducted on his family home after cellphone triangulation led officers to his location. Once in the custody of the marshals, Wynn was extradited by North Dakota and transported back to Dickinson to answer for his alleged crimes.
In a preliminary hearing held in March 2018, Wynn entered a plea of not guilty.
During the hearing, the Dickinson Police Department testified that the victim notified police that Wynn arrived at her residence with a handgun and a satchel containing rope, telling her to get on the ground and turn over her cellphone. The woman had received a protection order against Wynn before the attack and testified that she believed Wynn would seriously injure or kill her should she fail to comply with his demands.
According to police testimony during the preliminary hearing, Wynn forced the victim to have sexual intercourse while holding the firearm during the assault, causing the victim to fear for her life.
During the trial officers testified that, according to the victim, Wynn intended to use the rope to follow through with a murder-suicide plot but ultimately fled after the crime was reported to authorities.
Wynn changed his plea to guilty after entering into a plea agreement with the State's Attorney Office.
Judge William Herauf ordered a sentencing investigation, which concluded late last year. In Tuesday's sentencing at the Stark County Courthouse, Wynn was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 13 years suspended for a period of 30 years. Upon Wynn's release from prison, the suspended portion of his sentence can be adjudicated in the event he commits another felony while on parole.
According to court records, Wynn would have faced a maximum sentence of life in prison had the trial gone to a jury without an agreement.
Wynn will now be transported and remanded to the State Penitentiary in Bismarck to begin his sentence, however, he must await the end of a highly publicized lockdown the prison is embroiled in before he can be transported.