Arraignment held for Burbank man charged with rape

By Travis Gulbrandson

travis.gulbrandson@plaintalk.net

The Burbank man charged with raping two children made his first court appearance Tuesday morning.

Joseph T. Night, 62, pleaded not guilty to all 13 counts against him during an arraignment, several of which could find him spending the rest of his life in the state penitentiary if he is convicted.

Night is charged with the following:

  • Four counts of rape in the first degree, a Class C felony punishable with life imprisonment and a fine of $50,000;
  • two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a Class 6 felony that carries two years in the penitentiary and a fine of $4,000;
  • two counts of sexual contact with a child under the age of 16, a Class 3 felony with 15 years in the penitentiary and a fine of $30,000;
  • two counts of aggravated incest, another Class 3 felony;
  • one count of simple assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries one year imprisonment in the county jail and a fine of $2,000;
  • one count of interfering with an emergency communication, another Class 1 misdemeanor; and
  • one count of intent to damage property in the third degree, a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in a county jail and a fine of $500.

Night has been released on a $50,000 cash-only bond and is participating in a 24-7 program as a condition of his release.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Judge Glen Eng said Night must also stay in contact with his attorney, public defender Jason Rumpsa.

A motion hearing has been set for Night at 11 a.m., July 9. If a plea agreement is reached, a hearing will take place on or before Sept. 3.

If there is no plea agreement and Night continues to plead not guilty, his jury trial will take place at 9 a.m. Sept. 23.

In an interview with the Vermillion Plain Talk last week, States Attorney Teddi Gertsma said Night’s charges stem from a call that was placed Sunday, May 3.

“Law enforcement received a 911 call that an assault was occurring, and when they followed up, (their) investigation led to more charges,” Gertsma said.

Night was questioned in the hallway of the courthouse following his arraignment Tuesday, but told the Plain Talk he had no comment.

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