Letter to the Editor - Cauwels: Why do SD leaders protect sexual predators?

Why do so many SD leaders protect sexual predators?

In 2018 I attempted to report a rape to the resource officer at Brandon Valley High School. He told me repeatedly that without a first and last name of the rapist he would not even take the report. I was able to take him to the house where the rapist lives but he refused to follow me there or do ANY follow up. It shouldn’t be that way but the picture is becoming more clear. 

This year’s election shed some more light on the subject when we learned that two of the GOP candidates for legislature have also been charged with rape. Bud May who, according to law enforcement raped a woman using force also had a bench warrant for failure to appear in court, driving without insurance and driving with expired plates. Will May get the same deal that Koskan was offered? In case you have forgotten, Koskan has signed to a plea deal for the grooming and rape of his adopted daughter. The SD attorney general’s office has agreed to the deal, which gives Koskan a free pass.

A few years ago, when law enforcement first learned that Koskan was molesting his daughter they dropped the case because the then 14-year-old wasn’t providing them with “enough cooperation.” The abuse stopped but only for two years when he started again and escalated. Giving Koskan another free pass will likely have the same effect it did last time, He will slow his role for a bit, until his pedophile urges rise up and he finds another victim. Will she be someone you know? Would the deal look differently if the “Dad” was native and the child he was raping was white? I think it would, based on the fact that Jerome Goodhouse, a Native American, was just sentenced this week to 20 years in prison for threatening his victim to stay quiet about the abuse. He also received a life sentence for the sexual abuse. I’ m not suggesting that Jerome should get the same slap on the wrist that White GOP leaders get. I am suggesting that the South Dakota Courts should have the same tenacity for sex criminals as the Federal Courts did in Jerome’s case. 

Remember the famous billionaire, or the Sioux Falls Fire Chief, who was caught with child porn? Both with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Several Sioux Falls police officers did lose their job in 2022 for their sex abuse crimes but I never heard if they were held accountable criminally. 

South Dakota ranks No. 2 or No. 3 depending on the year for rape. This isn’t a contest we should want to win. The Sturgis bike rally and pheasant opener are two of the country’s largest human trafficking events. Armed with that knowledge, you would think our leaders would want to do something about it. To my surprise Dusty Johnson has taken a stance. This week the House of Representatives held a vote on a bill that would ensure victims of sexual assault in the workplace would be able to take their case to court even if they had signed NDA’s when they were first hired. Dusty voted against the bill, siding with the predators. 100 GOP representatives along with 215 Democrat representatives passed the bill anyway. So far this year, Dusty has voted to take away our rights to access contraceptives, take away a doctor’s right to educate patients about safe sex practices, take away our rights to marry someone of a different race or a gender that he doesn’t approve of. This is an alarming trend and it affects the safety of women and children all across the state. Sexual predators should not have more rights than women and children. South Dakota leadership needs to stop being rapists and pedophiles and they need to stop supporting and protecting rapists, pedophiles and sexual assaulters.  

Nichole M. Cauwels




The Brandon Valley Journal


The Brandon Valley Journal
1404 E. Cedar St.
Brandon, SD 57005
(605) 582-9999

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Please Login for Premium Content