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By Lisa Redmond


AYER — A district court judge told a 19-year-old Townsend man convicted as part of a sordid child-rape case that he has “much bigger problems” than a simple alcohol-possession case.

As a result, Ayer District Court Judge David Cunis on Wednesday dismissed a Nov. 6, 2011, charge against Dann Shank of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Shank is serving a two-year jail sentence after being found guilty in February of two counts of child rape in a case that involved he and his step-father Robert Grice, 36, raping Shank’s girlfriend.

During the rape trial in February, prosecutor Kate Draper said Shank, then 16, wanted “sex tips” from Grice because he was afraid of getting his 14-year-old girlfriend pregnant, so he sought alternatives.

The alleged victim testified that on the day of the incident, sometime in the summer of 2009, Shank led her to the bedroom Grice shared with Shank ‘s mother. They all sat on the bed and Grice then pulled out a toolbox filled with sex toys.

Grice used the victim to demonstrate hands-on sexual instruction to Shank, who also sexually assaulted the victim, Draper said.

After a weeklong trial, a Middlesex Superior Court jury found Grice guilty of aggravated rape of a child and enticement of a child under 16.

Middlesex Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Fahey in February sentenced Grice to the mandatory term of 10 years in state prison, followed by five years probation with numerous conditions.

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