FARRAR TO BE SENTENCED FOR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT TODAY
Gregory M. Farrar, a Hurley man who in 1998 was convicted of harassing nearly a dozen women in southeastern South Dakota, pleaded guilty via power of attorney to sexual contact without consent before Hutchinson County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Smith Monday, Nov. 27.
Farrar will be sentenced by Judge Smith Monday today, Dec. 11, at a hearing that begins at 10:30 a.m. at the courthouse in Olivet.
The plea comes after three misdemeanor charges were filed by Freeman Police Officer Jay Slevin in August when a local victim reported an incident in her home involving Farrar, and several other women with ties to the Freeman community came forward.
The charge of sexual contact without consent is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment, a $2,000 fine, or both.
Farrar, 70, was scheduled to stand trial early next year, said Slevin, who speculates that Farrar’s guilty plea on Monday was to avoid any “media circus that might hit in January.”
Slevin also said that the Dec. 11 sentencing may include testimony from several victims who have allegedly been harassed by Farrar.
“We’re hoping to get some of the most affected victims of his to do a victims-impact statement,” he said. “They want to make sure the judge has an understanding that this was not a one-time thing and has gone on way too long.
“Hopefully those women will get a sense of justice out of it,” he said.
Hutchinson County Clerk of Courts Dorene Winckler said that, because the charge is a misdemeanor, Farrar is not required to be at the sentencing in person and may instead be represented by power of attorney.
She also noted that the three original misdemeanor charges filed by local police — sexual conduct without consent, simple assault and criminal trespass — were reduced to the first two counts by the state’s attorney, and the simple assault charge was later dropped.
KELO-TV carried a lead story on Sept. 12 that included an interview with Stephanie Reiners, a Parker resident who previously lived and worked in Freeman.
“I can’t be terrorized for the rest of my life from this man,” she said. “Let’s take care of this.”