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Man accused of statutory rape admits to drug charge in plea deal

Jirad Bernard Kinney

Jirad Bernard Kinney

A New Hampshire man charged with the statutory rape of a juvenile in Helena received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to a lesser drug charge as part of a plea deal.

Jirad Bernard Kinney, 43, of Keene, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty to felony criminal distribution of methamphetamine. As part of his plea deal, felony charges of sexual intercourse without consent, sexual abuse of children and an additional count of felony criminal distribution of meth were dropped.

Kinney was sentenced in late October to 10 years in prison with all of that time suspended. He received credit for time served from Feb. 27 to March 25, 2021. Per the plea agreement, Kinney will have to follow any treatment programs recommended by his probation officer and shall no longer have any contact with people under the age of 18. 

The original charges stemmed from February 2021, when Helena Police Department officer Steven Cornish was advised of a video posted to social media that depicted a juvenile smoking meth. Cornish recognized the juvenile from prior involvements. 

Court documents state that the juvenile was assisted in smoking the meth by a male who was later identified as Kinney. 

When questioned by police, Kinney allegedly admitted to engaging in intercourse with the juvenile. Kinney also allegedly asked the juvenile to "send me something," which prompted her to send nude photos of her engaging in sexual conduct.

The victim was under the statutory age of consent.

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