A convicted rapist who is serving a life sentence wants a new trial.
Gabriel Medicine Eagle Junior is appealing his conviction in front of the South Dakota Supreme Court. He is arguing that information about another alleged rape shouldn't have been allowed at his trial.
The facts of the rape Medicine Eagle Junior was convicted of are brutal.
In September 2000, he picked up a 15-year-old girl who was walking home late at night and drove her to a field outside of Winner, South Dakota. That’s when she tried to run from him.
"At that point, Medicine Eagle tackles her and drags her back to the car by her hair," Assistant South Dakota Attorney General Kirsten Jasper said as she described the case to the justices.
Inside the van, Medicine Eagle Junior threatened the girl with a gun and raped her.
Advances in DNA technology allowed prosecutors to convict Medicine Eagle Junior in 2011 of that crime.
But at the trial, prosecutors were allowed to present evidence from a similar rape that Medicine Eagle Junior is accused of committing two years after the first crime. It also involved a teenage girl who was raped and dragged by her hair after trying to get away.
"Can that single incident from two-and-a-half years later be used to argue to a jury the existence of a common scheme or plan?" Medicine Eagle's attorney Paul Jensen said.
Jensen says the other evidence should have never been allowed.
"If there's no indication that the common scheme or plan existed at the time of the charged incident, then I urge the court to find that it loses its admissibility," Jensen argued.
But prosecutors argue it doesn't matter what order it happened in; the same crime was carried out in the same way twice.
"However, the question is not when the scheme arose, or the plan arose. It's that it existed at all," Jasper said.
Medicine Eagle Junior received a 25-year sentence for rape and a life sentence for kidnapping in the case.
The Supreme Court justices will make their decision on the appeal at a later date.
Watch the entire hearing by clicking on the play button below.