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Man sentenced for rape of teenage boy

Austin Gene Ferguson | Bonneville County Jail
IDAHO FALLS – A man was sentenced on Monday for his part in the rape of a teenage boy in 2020.
Austin Gene Ferguson, 28, was sentenced by District Judge Dane Watkins Jr. to a period of six months to seven and a half years in prison, after pleading guilty to felony rape of a victim under 16. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
Ferguson initially pleaded not guilty but accepted a plea agreement in October, stating that he would plead guilty in return for the prosecution arguing to recommend “nothing worse than a retained jurisdiction at sentencing,” according to the agreement.
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According to court documents, in 2020, the victim told police about sexual activity that had taken place between him, Ferguson, and Richard Dwayne Hensley, 26, in 2017. As the victim was under 16 years old at the time and could not legally consent to sex, Hensley and Ferguson were charged with felony rape of a child under the age of 16.
Police spoke with the victim and Ferguson, who both said the three were drinking before the incidents. The victim said Hensley forced him to perform sexual activities with the two men. Both Hensley and Ferguson said the victim lied about his age, and they believed he was either an adult or close to being an adult.
Ferguson described the encounter in the same way as the victim but told police the sex was consensual, according to court documents.
Hensley was sentenced in January, and received a sentence of one to 10 years in prison, also from District Judge Dane H. Watkins Jr. Hensley pleaded guilty after accepting a plea agreement, but the documents detailing the agreement were not available in the court file.
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