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South Dakota inmate serving 30-year rape sentence dies following lengthy illness

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SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — A South Dakota prison inmate serving a 30-year sentence for first-degree rape has died of natural causes following a lengthy illness.

The South Dakota Department of Corrections says 60-year-old Harold Kusick died Monday in Sioux Falls. Kusick was sentenced in 2004 for a rape that had happened a decade earlier.

Prosecutors accused Kusick of assaulting a girl three times between 1992 and 1995, when she was under age 13. He pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree rape, and the state dropped two charges as part of an agreement.

A Pennington County judge also ordered Kusick to pay for the victim's counseling.

Corrections officials on Tuesday said an autopsy is being conducted. They did not disclose Kusick's illness.

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