Stephen Fischer, 36, of rural Hershey was convicted Tuesday after he pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree forcible sexual assault. Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch told him that he must register as a sex offender for life. Sentencing was set for Nov. 12.
Fischer was arrested more than a year ago, after a child accused him of sexual assault on at least three occasions.
The charges against Fischer were modified somewhat in a plea agreement with the County Attorney’s Office. Previously, he was charged with sexual assault of a child instead of forcible sexual assault – against someone who cannot defend themselves.
The case began on Sept. 12, 2011, when Lincoln County deputies responded to a report from a child under the age of 12. Deputies interviewed at the child at the Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center with the assistance of Nebraska Health and Human Services. The next day, deputies obtained a warrant, searched Fischer’s home and arrested him.
Fischer’s bond was set at $300,000, ($100,000 for each count.) Lincoln County Judge Kent Turnbull told him not to have any contact with minors and to wear a GPS tracking device if he paid bond. Fischer posted 10 percent a week later and was released.
Fischer is the brother of the now deceased Daniel Fischer, 43, who was arrested in Aprial 2011 for nine counts of child molestation and later killed himself. Daniel’s wife Deanna was also arrested and charged with complicity. Later, a charge of sexual assault was filed against Deanna. She was scheduled to enter a plea for sexual assault Tuesday but the arraignment date was postponed.
Also in district court Tuesday:
William Theus, 25, was convicted of misdemeanor assault after he pled no contest to the charge. Theus and his brother Calvin were arrested in late April in the alleged beating of a North Platte couple, ages 44 and 53.
The brothers were originally arrested for third-degree assault, but the charges were increased to first-degree after police received medical reports that the victims, ages 44 and 53, “suffered serious bodily injury,” Police Spokesman Troy Erickson said at the time.
In court, Defense Attorney Amanda Speichert said William was defending Calvin. Calvin is now charged with first- and second-degree aggravated assault. He is in jail on a $12,500 bond.
On July 3, William was arrested for probation violation and intent to deliver a controlled substance. Those charges are still pending.
William as released on his own recognizance, with a $5,000 penalty if he fails to return to court.
In other district court action:
• Christopher Gonzales, 29, of North Platte pleaded guilty to tampering with a witness. The Lincoln County Attorney’s Office dismissed charges of assault by mutual consent and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors. Gonzales was sentenced to 95 days, the time he has served in jail since his arrest, and he was released.
• Alexis Harlow, 18, of North Platte pleaded no contest to third-degree assault. Harlow was arrested July 22 for conking her dad with a glass ashtray during a family disagreement. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and she will be back for sentencing Nov. 19.
• Kasino Moore, 29, of Cozad, faced a charge of theft, but his case continued until Nov. 12.