The South Dakota Republican spin blog’s first reaction to the news that Republican District 26 Senate candidate Joel Koskan is facing charges of child sex abuse was, “There are no words at the moment.”
Having read the probable cause statement from South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation Brandon Neitzert supporting charges of rape, sexual contact with a child under sixteen, and aggravated incest, I find there are plenty of words, the first of which are, “Joel, you pervert. How could you? She’s your daughter.”
According to Special Agent Neitzert, Echo Koskan, the adopted daughter of Joel and Sally Koskan of Wood, accuses Joel of raping her since she was a young child.
Here’s the story Echo told law enforcement last May, as written up by Special Agent Neitzert:
The Koskans adopted Echo ten years ago, from a family that didn’t give her a very good home life. “Joel would give her very long hugs, kiss her, and have her sit on his lap.” Echo thought this was “normal” affection until, at age 14, she went to summer camp at Christian Camp Judson. Counselors’ discussion of “idols” and inappropriate sexual behavior led her to realize that Joel was acting inappropriately toward her. She reported Joel’s apparent sexual interest in her to a camp counselor, which resulted in camp staff calling the Department of Social Services and having Echo speak with a social worker. Concerned that her allegations against Joel could cause her to lose another family, Echo did not tell the social worker or camp staff anything else about Joel’s inappropriate sexual behavior.
Echo’s report to camp staff did lead to her staying at camp two extra weeks. Joel and Sally got the sense that something was up and were upset with Echo. Sally asked Echo about “what she was trying to do to their family.” Sally knew what Joel had been doing “but would always blame Echo for his behavior….”
The camp incident may have spoked Joel; he stopped touching Echo for a year or two, “but it eventually picked back up again.” Joel also installed a webcam in Echo’s bedroom and watched her on his phone. When Echo complained to Joel that the camera made her feel uncomfortable, “Joel would tell her that he could not see anything anyway because of the way she stands inside of her closet while undressing.”
“Echo explained that as she got older she would try to request more privacy… and she would just be told that she was being ‘disrespectful’.” When she did not return Joel’s affection, Joel would tell Echo she was being “distant or difficult”.
Joel tried to make Echo not wear a bra. He required her to switch from wearing a t-shirt, shorts, and underwear to bed to wearing only a nightgown with nothing underneath. After Echo showered, Joel would make her sit on his lap, facing and straddling him. “Joel told her that since she was growing up, she ‘needed to air those things out’.”
Joel would tell Sally to go to bed, then sit alone with Echo and touch her. When she was 17, Joel progressed to penetrating Echo’s vagina with his fingers and ultimately with his penis. “Joel would always ask if she ‘has his whole heart’ and if she ‘would ever leave him’.”
Echo left home to attend Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown to study aviation maintenance. During school, she stayed in a house owned by Joel. He installed surveillance cameras in the Watertown house and watched her, as evidenced by his stating back to her things she said to friends at a party in the house. Joel tried to forbid Echo from spending time with her male classmates. He monitored her whereabouts with an Apple Air Tag on her keychain and the Live360 app on her phone. Joel controlled Echo’s social media accounts and blocked interactions with other males.
Joel ordered Echo to quit a job she got in Watertown, claiming that the hours she worked were hurting her grades. Echo said Joel was upset that she was gaining financial independence. Echo was having trouble keeping up with her classes, not because of work but because Joel required her to call every night and kept her on the phone until the early morning hours. Joel had also driven the hours from Wood to Watertown to have sex with his daughter. When Echo tried to get Joel to stop, Joel “would apologize and admit that he has not been a good father figure,” but he would resume sexually abusing her and “would often talk about being physically attracted to her.”
At some point last spring, Sally was lecturing Echo about “having sex with her new boyfriend” and how sex is supposed to be a “special event”. When Echo told her mother that Joel had already ruined that specialness by having sex with Echo multiple times, Sally told her that Echo should just lock her bedroom door to keep Joel out.
That’s when Echo realized she would get no support from Sally or Joel. She turned to a friend and told her the whole story. That friend’s dad happens to be retired DCI Director Brian Zeeb (who took Echo’s allegations more seriously than he took DCI Special Agent Laura Zylstra Kaiser’s allegations of sexual misconduct committed by fellow cops). Zeeb told Echo to call the cops immediately. Echo called the cops—specifically, the Spink County Sheriff’s Office, while she was traveling back to Watertown from Wood.
And on May 6, Spink County Sheriff’s Deputy Talese Aucoin called DCI Special Agent Neitzert for help investigating Joel Koskan’s sexual assault of his daughter Echo. On May 11, Neitzert and DCI Victim Witness Specialist Cindy Schmidt interviewed Echo and got the above story. On June 2, DCI got Echo’s permission to search her phone, where Special Agent Shane Hardie found multiple texts referring to GPS tracking and video monitoring, as well as texts from Joel on May 6 stating, “you promised you’d never do this” and “I’m begging you Echo, you don’t want to do this.”
* * *
Joel Koskan’s daughter is accusing him of rape and incest. DCI and the Attorney General’s office find the accusations sufficiently credible to file felony charges.
Koskan’s betrayal of his moral obligation as a father is supremely abominable. His betrayal of the family values he spouted to win votes is rank hypocrisy.
But toward the bottom of this ugly story, we should also note that Koskan betrayed his own party. He knew on May 6 that his daughter was going to report him for rape and incest (not to mention sleazy, creepy, controlling behavior). Koskan had three months when he could have withdrawn his name from the ballot, when he could have given his party leaders a chance to name a replacement candidate. Koskan would have spared his party the grief of having a scandal like this blow up a candidate and the R label he carries.
Koskan knew this stuff was going to hit the fan. He could have spared his party the splattering. But hey: if a guy lacks the basic sense to not screw his daughter, we shouldn’t expect him to show the unselfish sense to withdraw his name from a ballot and let someone a little cleaner carry the party banner.
Back in the early seventies, I worked in Adolescent Treatment. At that time the South Dakota Legislature was writing the first child abuse reporting and prosecution laws (or updating ineffective, ancient statutes). My boss, an experienced Psychologist said, “When they roll over that rock, they are going to get a good lesson in human deviancy.”
And more seriously than Marty Jackley took Kaiser’s or Tiffany Campbell’s allegations against cops.
Good reporting, Cory. Echo will be better off in the long run because you published this.
This court order should not be published. You have done so little to protect the privacy of a person who is alleging serious and significant abuse. This is a violation of the privacy rights of an individual.
Yes, I’m a bastard for publishing a document that I obtained before the court sealed it. Let’s all focus on my crime instead of Joel Koskan’s rape and oppression of his daughter.
Now do Fred Deutsch, Jeff Monroe and Scott Munsterman.
Some people have some real b@llz with these types of ‘allegations’ sitting on the back burner and yet they still run for election.
Word to Lee Schoenbeck: You’re smarter than to brush this off with a “we’ll let it play out in the courts” comment. By COB today, loudly, clearly and publicly demand Joel Koskan to drop out of the Senate race because he is a disgusting child rapist and incest sleazeball. You’ve got kids, Lee. Put yourself in your own shoes. Be a dad. Be a leader. Drop a piano on Koskan and urge all Republicans to turn their backs on him.
Koskan has been such an inspiration. https://www.keloland.com/news/capitol-news-bureau/legislative-candidate-attacks-south-dakota-public-broadcasting-over-critical-race-theory/
Word to sleazekitten Kristi Noem: Here’s your own “10-year-old rape victim from Ohio” example in real life with a real name and a very detailed, long and convincing history of rape. Her rapist is in one of your own party’s elite political families and his name is on the ballot with your own. What are you going to do about it? This is not a hypothetical nobody from five states away. If Joel Koskan impregnated his victim, would you support a policy which forces her to carry her rapist’s baby to term?
This kind of tragedy happens in your own backyard, Kristi, a lot more than you suspect. Ask your pal Ted Klaudt. Maybe you need to pull your head out of your ass and for the first time in your life, act like a governor. Lead the effort to repeal South Dakota’s abortion laws and restore fundamental human rights for all female citizens of your state.
Yea, yea, yea, minor details. Leave his name on the ballot and you’ll see that some in District 26 will vote for him rather than a Democrat. Thank the Trumpladites, Maganoids and Pillow People for this.
My close, personal friend Lar is righter-than-right, although he risks the wrath of the Bone Cracker Caucus, who are not to be trifled with.
He “turns his life over to Jesus” in order to escape his feeling of guilt in 3…2….1…..
JB has a point. I would not have published the details without the permission of the victim. I would have tried hard to get that permission, but in the end it is her story to tell and to whom she wants to tell it. It is hard enough to get people to confide highly personal details of such crimes to law enforcement. If they know it could be spread to everyone with an internet connection, they might think twice about it. It is also difficult to assure fair legal proceedings with all the details spread widely in public Still, much as I disagree with Cory’s decision to run with this, I think it is a public service. You can’t face a problem if you blind yourself to the truth. What Arlo said above is right. That applies to the perpetrators of incest, to the brand of Christo-fascism that denigrates girls and women and state leaders who fail to lead on this issue.
This Mr. Koskan, the younger, is one sick bossturd. I sure hope some neighbor doesn’t run into him in the woods behind their house. I’m just sayin.,,
Word to Cory: Excellent journalism. The translation of “we’ll let it play out in the courts” is actually “we’ll keep this hushed up and out of sight until after the election.” Too often in South Dakota, a friendly judge who just so happens to seal court documents can be a big help to the power structure in Pierre. Silence is any rapist’s best friend. For a politician who rapes, it’s a major contribution to his or her campaign to seize power and reinforce the silence.
The political payoff for Kristi and the SDGOP to quash this story of rape and imprisonment of the young Koskan woman is they hope to take away a Senate seat from the Democrat column. If Koskan wins the election, goes to prison and vacates the seat currently held by a Native Democrat, they can appoint a white Republican to retain more power in Pierre.
So, in July, this case was already down the path toward prosecuting Joel Koskan who knew in May he was heading to prison. At that time, I find it impossible to believe that Noem was unaware of this gut-wrenching story of incest, imprisonment and rapes by one of her party’s elite Senate candidates. That’s when she famously appeared on CNN and dodged questions about the 10-year-old rape victim who was pregnant. This is from an NPR story on Noem’s famous duck walk:
“South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a rising star in Republican circles, denounced CNN host Dana Bash for trying to ‘trap me’ by asking her about the incident. ‘Now it looks like the story was fake to begin with,’ Noem tweeted on July 8. ‘Literal #FakeNews from the liberal media.'”
“Literal #FakeNews from the liberal media”??? Kristi sounds like a rapist’s best friend here. The rape was real. Noem’s brushoff of the pain and misery of a 10-year-old rape victim was real. The doctor who provided the abortion in Indiana was a victim of harassment and death threats by Kristi’s rapists rights union. And since then, at least two more minors were denied abortions in Ohio and encouraged to bring their rapists’ babies to term.
Not “literal #FakeNews.” Real life hurt and damage, now visiting an innocent woman from Wood, South Dakota.
Oh, now really, people. Echo is merely a female; not even fully human. How can we sustain any interest in this story when Our Hero The Lord’s Own Joel Koskan is a White, male, Christian Reptilian? After all, The Lord’s anointed Christian Conservatives know every little girl is just made for rape and aggravated incest; Joel Koskan will be a state sh*tweasel (ahem, senator) before you can say “vaginal penetration.”
And Sally Koskan is another little gem, too. She deserves a butt-load more scorn and hatred than she appears to be getting.
I do mean these sentiments in The Most Conservative and Christianly way possible. Yep.
I know right, Bonnie? Echo is just a mere Native American girl and apparently of no significance whatsoever in SD that the majority Party can’t even send out a press release asking Koskan to drop out.
Silence speaks volumes.
The horrible truth is that there is STILL a chance that this piece of scum will get elected. God help us.
It wasn’t too long ago that a prominent politician said, “If she weren’t my daughter, I’d probably be dating her.” Well, as far as we know, he didn’t date his daughter, but he admitted to grabbing other father’s daughters inappropriately. That “R” by the name seems to stand for REPULSIVE!
F— Marty Jackley. F— Kristi Noem. F— Sally Koskan. I got something special for you, Joel.
You are all involved in a child rape ring, along with your pedophile hero, Trump. All a bunch of dried out, white dog s—. Sorry, Mr. H. I’m not into internet bullying but this is enough to bring bully to a whole new monster. Hey uh, South Dakota- stop raping kids by voting for these evil white devils. It is making us all do time in hell for playing a role, ya know? We have no right to keep throwing our kids in the pyre. No opponent to Jackley? Are you serious? Tf bunch of jellyfish. There’s a mass beneath the tip of every iceberg. It is huge and we keep letting it prosper. Mademoiselle Echo, do not forget who all knew and did nothing. That group now includes an entire state if these punks are elected.
Now, now, Ms. Mammal, we all are just as enraged and inclined to encourage the goon squads against young Mr. Koskan as the next fellow, even though that would be wrong, probably very wrong, but do not let your NDS misdirect where your anger should lie.
Oh it’s lying right and proper, Mr. Grudznick. This is all a repeat of same ol song and dance. We all are on that dance card if politics keep in step this way. Lets do skull cracking instead, shall we? Then, we dance.
What happened is horrible and wrong! But remember, without doubt, politically, the same happens on both sides of the fence. Also, with this exposure, it seems only obvious that there will be one less person to vote for.
It also does not matter your color, race or religion, etc., it’s simply wrong and damaging to
ANY female that is truly a victim of the
charges mentioned. Also, every female has great significance as do all humans.
I respect/desire free speech. However, with anything, we should use common sense and consideration before publishing/speaking.
Yes, facts needed to be made to the appropriate people and authorities but to print all the details was unnecessary and only more damaging and humiliating to the victim.
People in the press, PLEASE consider
common sense, decency and consideration before publicizing to the world a girl’s living nightmare, effectively making her life more challenging than it already has been! And for what? Her loss and your financial/popular gain. Sad. Really sad.
Use your talents and resources to build up and not add to the existing heaviness of peoples lives.
Can’t rely on goon squads to do what’s right for us, Mr. G. With a bit more outrage and more swell beneath the short and curlies, this party wouldn’t have continued merrily along as long as they have. Consequences must be delved out. Nobody seems to be doing it, are they, Mr. G? Women have to hut to it to get real work done. Starting with a little thing you might not know nothin bout called Justice. If we keep relying on Jackley, our kids might as well have a QR code for quicker sale.
There needs to be some form of follow-up in adoption and foster home placements. Kids are, as in this case, taken in to be groomed as candidates for sexual exploitation. 20 years ago in Aberdeen, it was the Richard Mette case. Often the spouses of perpetrators are aware, even complicit, in the exploitation. Interviewers of placed children seem to know when some hesitant or reluctant responses indicate problems.
Making public the probable cause statement is appropriate. Echo is an adult. There was no court order barring its dissemination. The alleged abuser is a public figure. Making the probable cause statement was a TREMENDOUS public service.
What is TRAGIC is the vast number of abuse and neglect cases that are not public – thus swept under the rug by courts, the state, and well-intentioned but misguided attempts to ‘protect the victim’. Those ‘attempts’ complicitly lead to more victims.
Spend quality time with counselors, DSS representatives, investigators, prosecutors, folks with children homes, kids attorneys, and kids advocates to learn how pervasive is the abuse and neglect. The teachers know it, but are also muzzled. You would be shocked by the number of feral children in our midst. Romulus and Remus had great care contrast to many of these present day South Dakota kids.
Let’s never forget Ted Klaudt, disgraced Republican legislator whose greatest fan was the SDGOP spin blog, which proclaimed him their “Rising Star.” Here’s a snippet from Wikipedia:
“While in office, Klaudt co-sponsored several bills that regulated sex offenders, including the establishment of “community safety zones” prohibiting sex offenders from residing, working, or entering within 500 feet of schools, public parks and swimming pools. He also co-sponsored the bill that required South Dakota to be included in the National Sex Offender Registry, a bill that requires the Department of Social Services to inform parents about abuse or neglect involving their children in state custody. His bill to have prohibited the distribution of birth control to high school students was defeated.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Klaudt
What the Wikipedia write up omits is what Klaudt did to his 17- and 19-year-old foster daughters other rape and abuse. He claimed he was giving them medical exams. From Keloland: “In the original case, Klaudt was convicted for performing physical examinations on the girls, claiming he was going to help them sell their reproductive eggs. In Klaudt’s latest filing, he claims the exams were ‘voluntary’ and he was working with a licensed clinic.”
These extreme Christian nutjobs in the legislature seem to enjoy not only acting as predators to innocent young females in person, but also as predators to all females through their whacky legislation. They feel powerful when they walk into the State Capitol and they find reinforcements for their sickness among fellow Republican legislators and extremist lobbyists who conjure lies and conspiracy theories to keep the sick ones amped up until sine die year after year after year. It doesn’t help that their biggest cheerleader and team mascot is that feral woman who lives in the mansion next to Capitol Lake.
I agree in focus on this crime that Joel committed. Sexual abuse is a lifelong horrific trauma, and to add another layer to that trauma in that the perpetrator is in a parental role can result in years of healing. Publishing this and not redacting the young women’s name only adds to the trauma. She stated that the abuse began when she was a minor. We have laws to protect minors. She is an adult now, but we do not have added more to what she will be facing. As people we often turn to our support systems (families) for protection and comfort when horrible things happen. The information we have does not appear that she has that support system for protection. There are solid reasons why journalist have protected witness from future abuse while publishing information about the abusers. I wish that would have happened here.
Look deeper into the family as a whole:
-Interesting that the investigation includes Camp Judson which has Koskan affiliation. Doesn’t his brother run that camp? (Side Note: It was also the center of a large COVID outbreak there in July/Aug period of 2020.)
-In a prior campaign of Joel’s when it was mentioned his racist behavior didn’t a picture of this young women get posted along with him declaring he couldn’t be racist because he had adopted a native child.
At least Eric Westerhuis had a plan.
To clear up a misconception in John’s comment: South Dakota teachers that know it, are not at all muzzled, rather they are required by statute to report suspected abuse or neglect to law enforcement.
SDCL 26-8A-3 obligated teachers and many other professional to report abuse. It is a criminal misdeanor to intentionally fail to report child abuse or neglect: .
Sickening. His wife should be charged too & their other children should be taken away. Understand including the probable cause statement – but did you really have to include the victim’s full name name in your post? I can imagine this is very difficult for her to go through in the public eye with those close to the family already knowing who she is. You just outed her identity to the rest of the world. Knowing the crazy extremists in the Republican party, don’t you just opened the door for potential harassment toward her? I believe most journalist consider it unethical to include the name of victims of sexual assault. My heart breaks for this girl and it hurts me even more that even our “liberal” media blog is failing her here.
I side with the notion that it is best to avoid identifying victims in crimes, particularly family crimes.
Sharing this many details will inevitably put a target on the back of the victim and could lead to harassment and/or harm. Victim identification also serves as a deterrent for others to come forward, particularly if they are in complex social situations where they may not have adequate support outside of the family (we can’t always trust the government to provide sufficient anonymity or support for victims to reestablish their lives)
What this man did is horrific.
Just because he did something horrific doesn’t mean you have liberty to put the victim in the public domain. This applies even if the documents ended up accessible either intentionally or unintentionally. Cory, I have been a long time reader and frequent commenter, but I have never been so disappointed in you. You are a smart person, you should know this is not right.
I beg you to take down these filings and edit your post.
To provide additional context to my post:
Through my work with people who use drugs, I have learned the complex reasons why many people use drugs and ultimately slip into chaotic use.
The one of the top reasons why people use drugs, particularly chaotically, is trauma.
I have worked with clients who have been victims of high profile trauma. They are in the toughest spot because they end up thrust into an unwanted spotlight as a victim and the support of that spotlight never lasts as long as the damage from the trauma. For many of the people I serve, they end up filling that gap and alleviating that pain through substance use.
By revealing the victims name, you are putting her in a spot where that trauma may follow her longer than she wants. She may end up re traumatized after a simple google search by someone close to her prompts them to ask questions or an employer conducting an amateur background investigation stumbles on this link and has second thoughts.
There’s a lot of misinterpretations that can happen by people who access information through even well
meaning media stories. You can help prevent this by adopting a policy of not disclosing information that may identify a victim.
Again, I hope you reconsider your post and edit the content to avoid this victim identification.
I tend to agree with MD. I understand the Probable Cause document was public information at the time Cory printed it, perhaps an oversight by the Judge. I understand that the Dakota Free Press has as its mission to print public information of a political and governmental nature that is often unreported in South Dakota media. I feel Cory should have used some discretion in omitting personally identifying information about the victim, at least until this case went to a court proceeding. I do appreciate reading about this tragic situation as it brings to the fore many shortcomings in South Dakota adoption law.
I am in support of what MD has written. The young women is barely legal age and the assaults began when she was minor. The trauma that she is dealing with is more than enough with out her name in print.
Focus on the crimes committed by Joel Koskan, the adult who she trusted to protect her. A compelling piece can be written demanding he is accountable without re-victimizing her. While there are many who know her and her name, we have an opportunity of showing her compassion and support as she begins a journey that I hope you, Cory and none your readers ever experience. I have read other accounts in news pieces that had access to the same court document that you published that select to protect her name in their reporting. Just because it is possible to print something does not always mean it is right.
96Tears, that legislation leaves out zones where sexual predators shouldn’t live, like near the victim or a woman’s shelter. A pervert from this area was released after a 15-year stint for raping 2 young girls yet was allowed to live 2 houses away from the victim and very close to our shelter. The police said, “those places aren’t listed in the legislation.”
By the way, it used to be easy access to find where registered sex offenders live but not anymore because they have rights too. They quit listing their names in the local paper because they needed the room for ads, there were too many. No longer can we go to our police website and see the map where they live because they have their privacy.
Anne, the Ted Klaudts and Joel Koskans of this state are everywhere. Republicans hate regulation therefore the foster care system, some homeschools, and some religious schools are ripe for perverts, both men and women.
Well they arrested the son of a bitch finally. I’d love to know why there was a five-six month delay in doing so. And why hasn’t;t the mother been arrested?! She is equally as culpable. And I speak from experience.
Mr. PP, who has been identified as a journalist by the courts, did not publish the young lady’s name in his fine coverage of the events. He’s probably prevented from doing so as a journalist, under some penalties.
Pat Powers is a journalist like Joel Koskan is a guidance counselor.
It is interesting that in the KELO thing that Mr. 96Tears blogged about the names of Mr. Klaudt’s victims were not mentioned, only initials. Even as a libbie news outfit, KELO is a professional journalist collective. Perhaps somebody should verbally slap around the judge and the investigator for not using initials in the case of the rapist Mr. Koskan.
Mrs. Noem just called out the Rapid City Journal for not bending the knee to her political party after she and Larry Rhoden stood for photos with Joel Koskan. Watching the SDGOP cannibalizing its own comrades is joy beyond words.
libbies vs connies? Grow up, grudznyet
Folks cling to the notion that identifying the victim of a crime adds to their trauma. Victimologists have found that, in fact, not having the wrong done to victims acknowledged intensifies the trauma. A popular notion is that a victim who is named is a participant in some unseemly act and will be branded with shame. Some news organizations defer to that notion, not on a journalistic basis, but because some in their audience will choose to regard a victim as shameful. The progressive media proceeds on the premise that crimes are not anonymous: somebody did something to somebody else. Without identities, there is no crime.
A significant portion of the people prefers to wallow in the bath of shame, rather than deal with facts. So crimes remain anonymous, and they won’t have to deal with them. It’s a matter of moral and intellectual cowardice under the guise of sensitivity.
No doubt Echo was adopted through the state. Is there any way to get details on that, especially who performed the home study? That information is very important and needs to be disclosed. There is an epidemic of adoptee/oster abuse and neglect cases, but unfortunately, due to corporate interests and pressure, individuals, agencies, and companies that perform home studies seldom are noted in public.
The mother should be charged as an accessory or for facilitating the crimes. The fact that she told the girl to lock her door is a strong indication that she knew exactly what was going on. She’s as guilty as he is.
Perhaps one factor, and maybe even the key factor, that has been overlooked in the discussion about the reason that a trial judge might have ordered that this probable cause affidavit be sealed prior to trial is the liklihood that this release will convince potential jurors of the defendant’s guilt prior to trial. This problem can make it difficult, if not nearly impossible, to find a jurors that have not yet pre-judged the case without hearing any of the actual evidence. Indeed, the reaction of so many DFP commenters certainly suggests that none could qualify as a juror in the case because of the effect on them of reading these terrible allegations.
Regardless of the unpopularity of a defendant, the current American justice system requires both a presumption of innocence and a fair trial before an impartial jury before concluding that the defendant is guilty of the crime he or she is accused of committing. Media publicity can undermine the mandatory presumption of innocence and lead to an unfair trial and wrongful conviction. One clear example was the case of the Central Park Five.
Personally, after reading the probable cause affidavit that Cory published if I were called as a potential juror I doubt that I could swear to be a totally impartial juror that would decide the case with no preconceived notion of Koskan’s guilt. I will not and cannot attempt to defend Koskan, but the right to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial before an impartial jury certainly seems worth defending. Public disclosure of a document drafted by law enforcement designed to convince a judge that probable cause for an arrest exists seems to contradict those rights by its potential effect on public opinion.
David Newquist writes:
Mr. Newquist is correct. Full disclosure is the first step toward healing for everyone involved.
Cory’s fatherly instincts served him well in the publication of this post.
Hang in there, Echo.
There is a child sex ring in SD. Full stop. It starts at the tippy top of the R party. Every one who keeps them in power is a participant. Jackley, Noem, their offices are steeped in keeping this sickness secret. It clearly doesn’t even need to be all that secret because that is how sick we are. T. Denny Sanford, his lawyer, Jackley, money laundering in the Children’s Home Society, the missing and murdered indigenous list of thousands, including the missing kids taken by the state, Trump-loving Rounds and Thune, DCI, the courts, law enforcement, the church, pediatrics, Janklow, Dauggard, DSS, IHS. This is no wacky conspiracy make believe. South Dakota is a living, breathing threat to our children.
There is a correlation between environmental pollution, water contamination, Republican Christian values, racism, incarceration, men with guns, men with power, underfunded education, overfunded police, bad healthcare, oppression of women’s rights, the poor, food deserts, the legislature, the courts, social media exposure, children exposed to internet porn, drug police agencies, isolation, prescription drugs, alcohol AND child sexual abuse. I don’t have any data. I have eyes. Open them and look. Big, red letters on the wall. What more do we need to get off our duffs and remove all cancer from our state. Those who resist must be first to go.
“All Mammal” writes:
Some time has passed since I was last registered as a Democrat or as a Republican, but the only correlation between Christ’s values and child sexual abuse is an inverse correlation, and that’s been true throughout the most recent 2,000 years or so of world history.
Bcb- the Central Park 5 were wrongfully convicted, in major part, thanks to Trump taking out a full two page ad in 4 New York City papers, demanding the five male children be executed. He even signed his name. 20 years later, knowing the boys were innocent, he still refuses to apologize.
Like I said before, this sickness starts at the tippy top of the heap of ‘American patriots’. And it puddles in South Dakota ‘conservative values’. Gag me with a spoon.
My girl, you survived because of who you are. Your strength is beauty.
Joel- you did what you did because that is who you are. May you rest in piss.
Secrets keep families sick. Especially the secrets you only tell your priest, Mr. Evans.
Lets put aside religion and politics and focus on right and wrong. It is wrong to harm children. It is wrong to impose unwanted actions on people’s physical body. It is right to shed light on injustice and pedophiles. It is right to remove the threat to our children so they never have the ability to harm them again. To an active volcano hole with all of them. Sincerely.
“All Mammal” writes:
I’m not Roman Catholic, and the Bible affirms the priesthood of all true New Testament Christians.
Cory, you did the right thing; rest assured. Anyone curious could discover the victim’s name easily with a little searching, and rightfully society SHOULD know immediately the depths of the depravity that this ‘would-be representative’ of the people-acting on their behalf-really was! Thanks for this news article and if the mainstreet newspapers carry it it is only because you broke it to the public. Your conscience should remain calm, I agree with Kurt Evans for once. Not surprised at grudz’s placating mood toward the GOP in this state, tho. He’d love to label it as NDS by those opposed to his/our ‘governess.’
Echo, here’s one South Dakotan claiming you as “Teenager of the Year” and more! You’ve got guts and nerve, gal, hang tough and we all pray justice is served you!
God’s and Jesus’ teachings are falsely conveyed through Kurt Evans’, self righteous indignation. You are no more valid In relaying holy virtues than anyone else, reading this blog, Evans. You offend the senses and take evil delight in that. Stop before you’re past the limit of redemption.
Koskan has deleted everything about himself he can from social media, but the Google cache surely preserves some of his political polemics that will underscore his right-wing pious hypocrisy.
The Google cache also preserves some creepy lines. Here’s an excerpt from a Twitter thread on the harvest from December 1, 2019:
“Finished with harvest this past Monday. #harvest19 and #farm19 has reminded us once again that we aren’t in control & never were to begin with. Thank you Lord for the harvest and the family & workers you’ve put in place to allow us to harvest once again….
“This is the pickup my daughter and I rebuilt this past winter. She takes great pride in the work we did together and turns 17 this next week. She wants to drive the tractor and earn money, she’s going to have a hard time finding a guy that knows more about vehicles than she does.”
Consider: Koskan appears to have adopted an American Indian child and tried to make her his sex slave. Could the Indian Child Welfare Act come into play here?
Joel Koskan served on the Colome Consolidated School Board at least as far back as July 2015 (that’s as far back as the minutes go online) until this July. Joel said in a June 2022 Tweet that he had been a school boar dmember for 9 years, meaning he’d served since 2013. So for much of the time that Koskan was raping his minor daughter, he was also serving on his local school board.
Last fall, Koskan went to the Legislature to advocate diluting the Indian vote by adding more voters to District 26. Now he was only advocating bringing District 26 up to the full district population the simple arithmetic of dividing the state population by 35 would dictate instead of keeping the district’s smaller than the usual constitutionally acceptable deviation would allow. But the practical impact of Koskan’s proposal would have been to weaken the Indian vote on the Rosebud reservation and give Koskan more white voters to campaign to.
One should take what Mr. Newquist, a known hack, says with perhaps an entire salt shaker. That Mr. Evans sides with Mr. Newquist on this is very telling, indeed.
Good question. ICWA was passed as protection for children under the Bad Man Clause in circumstances just like this one so federal charges might be forthcoming.
That someone using an alias is allowed to assail a scholar in any forum is a profile in cowardice.
Does anyone have a bead on what legal penalties Sally Koskan could face for not protecting her daughter from rape and incest in her own home?
It appears that, had the daughter spoken to DSS at Camp Judson, Sally could have lost her parental rights. SDCL 26-8A-26.1 says the court may terminate parental rights of a parent who “has exposed the child to or demonstrated an inability to protect the child from substantial harm or risk of harm resulting from a crime, act, or omission” including the crimes of rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, and incest.
grudz, David Newquist has it more “right” than you: and he is a “left” I believe!
When the Alito Court leaked its impending reversal of Roe v. Wade, Koskan went pontificating on Twitter about his respect for life and invoked his having adopted three children to bolster his moral credibility:
—Joel Koskan, Tweet, 2022.05.02, retrieved from Internet Archive Wayback Machine 2022.11.05
—Joel Koskan, Tweet, 2022.05.02, retrieved from Internet Archive Wayback Machine 2022.11.05
Remember: the Alito leak happened Monday evening, May 2. Joel’s daughter evidently decided she’d had enough of Joel’s abuse, told her friend, and called the Spink County Sheriff on Friday, May 6.
I want to know what Aaron Aylward thinks of Joel at the moment.
SCOTUS is fixing to rule on ICWA in the near future. They’re on a mission to cheapen every aspect of American life.
According to Coleen Zickler’s article https://sites.evergreen.edu/ccc/carebodies/profiting-on-indigenous-children-in-south-dakota/
The state of SD makes $79,000 per year on abducting Native children. They receive 3x that for children with special needs, so they declare every single Native child as special needs. Adoptive parents receive $13,000 more for opting to adopt a Native child. Once snatched, the children are processed through the private Children’s Home Society, once ran by Daugaard and the recipient of a $55,000,000 donation from T. Denny Sanford. There, the children are put on up to 10 different medications, some being psychotropics that are normally not prescribed to children. Avera gets paid to use this environment for a contract with big pharma to do drug trials. The displaced kids’ broken hearts are placated by putting them on dope. The parents aren’t told where their children are. In hundreds of cases, the victims are never found. Parents are told they ran away.
This made Janklow, Daugaard, Matt Michels, the state, Avera, pharmaceutical companies, etc more money than Croesus. Ripping off the feds by kidnapping and harming and selling kids is a mockery. 700 Native children a year in SD are….bought and sold. We can’t say we didn’t know. The ballot is half full of the profiteers of this lucrative skin trade.
@All Mammal – That’s a terrifying story. I believe every word and every assertion. Stealing Native baby souls and paying money to the thieves.
And, it’s been public knowledge for such a long time that white fear has whitey paralyzed.
The average age at which survivors of childhood sexual abuse disclose their experience is 52 years old, and many victims never tell anyone what happened to them(from Fairfax County Virginia Department of Social Services). A list in which being average is of no comfort. I am in favor of eliminating the statute of limitations for the crime of raping children. I pray Echo has support as she begins this journey for justice and healing.
Yes, Joel’s older brother is the camp director. I knew his brother’s wife during her junior and senior years at SDSU, and I really liked her, and this is all just so, so sad.
The commenter formerly known as Porter Lansing writes:
I haven’t even expressed my indignation in these comments, self-righteous or otherwise.
Echo never would have been sexually abused if only she’d been aborted.
I don’t think t’s right to disclose the victim’s name in this post.
What a horrendous nightmare for any child to endure, but especially for any adoptee!
Yet the sad truth is that for every one of these family sexual victims who are “rescued,” there are countless others who still suffer in silence. (And for those who do get “saved,” there’s still a long road of trauma therapy ahead.)
Adoption, however well-intentioned, is not always a magical panacea, and must never be mistaken for such.
This tragedy is proof that the courts and the state child welfare system (in South Dakota and every other state) must do far more to protect and monitor the safety and well-being of these most vulnerable clients— the children— both before and after any placement is done.
DCI agent Brandon Nietzert says
Spink County sheriff’s deputy Talese Aucoin said
retired DCI agent Brian Zeeb said
Zeeb’s daughter said
Joel had been “raping her since she was a young child.”
Nietzert apparently attributes the quoted words directly to Zeeb, even though he apparently didn’t hear them directly from Zeeb, which would be a big, dangerous mistake.
Dakota News Now says Austin Goss attributes the quoted words directly to Echo:
That’s would be a bigger and arguably more dangerous mistake.
I almost never post without proofreading, but I did that time. Live and learn, I guess.
No abortions women…pump those babies out….so men like Joel can adopt them.
This whole situation makes me sick because someone should have suspected something, even at school. Social scientists and counselors are trained observers of behaviors.
Some wives are in denial stage the whole time because husbands may still have sex with them as well. In the Klaudt case and 2 local cases, I know the wives personally and they adamantly deny any wrongdoing on their husband’s part. They blame the victims for ruining their marriages by claiming the stories were concocted because they had crushes on their husbands. All 3 husbands were prominent members of their communities. I no longer have contact with these women because denial is idiocrasy when the facts are presented. Some men are just great cons and who suffers?
I also know of 2 local cases where the wives kicked their husbands’ asses out but didn’t report them. And there again, who gets hurt?
As long as women are objectified, this will continue. Eventually rape and incest will no longer be taboo or deviant behaviors and may even be codified into law. Then men like Joel can do as they like out in the open.
The plea deal is the biggest farce there is; in the same vane as that generated for Jason Ravnsborg. The plea deal is consistent with one violation of state statutes but unconscionable for multiple years and multiple circumstances of sexual perversion, and atrocious deviant behavior. The man is sick and has been for a very long time judging from his past behavior, remarks and comments on Social Media and elsewhere. Frankly, he needs to go to the slammer for at least 5 years where he could get a helpful dose of morality from prison ministries. Does anyone remember what happened to Representative Ted Klaudt for his despicable behavior? It was nearly the same scenario and degree of depravity but the courts kicked his lunch bucket down the road a lot further than Koskans. Not only is republican politics and politicians corrupt and slimy but so is our prosecutorial system of one-sided justice. No question in my mind that Joel Koskan will recover from this crime and go on to prominence among his patriot peers in no-man’s land. But, what most of you don’t know is that Joel’s brother is the Camp Manager and supervisor where this young woman was sent to receive a Pentecostal upbringing. It’s probable that the brother, wife and 3 sons are of considerably better deportment and moral turpitude but none the less were well aware of the entire family’s apparent complacency and failure to discipline and correct one of their own. Obviously, none of them were sensitive to the young woman’s welfare or future, which is what the church camp is established for.
This shame lies directly on the heads of GOP Republican legislators of South Dakota; being in the “super majority’ braggadocio position of all major positions in government and not having looked under the rug of child welfare (esp. Indian Child Welfare) in this state and strengthening laws regarding bail, light if any jail sentences and sealing of court papers willy-nilly.
Sealing court papers helped this perverted GOP candidate for state Senator get 42% of that district’s vote in Tuesday’s election. Republicans vote mostly on election day in that district so I can hardly think they condoned him raping his own child that long by voting for him to represent them.! Could you?
“JW” has a lot of things wrong in the comment above, including simple matters of fact such as whether Camp Judson is traditionally Baptist or exclusively Pentecostal.
It still seems to me that Echo will be better off in the long run because this has gone public, but no one is helping her by accusing her dad of things that are even worse than what he did, or by making speculative allegations against other members of her immediate and extended family, most or all of whom probably want the best for her more than anyone commenting here does.
Mr. Evans thinks that felonious, sexual assault and rape are OK as long as the perpetrator “wants the best” for his/her victim? That’s deviant behavior in itself, Kurtus. Just stop. And, stay away from children.
While the desire to punish Koskan is certainly understandable, he cannot be sent to prison or punished unless he pleads guilty or is found guilty after a public trial. Since this appears to be a case with no eyewitnesses or physical evidence to support the accusations against Koskan, the daughter’s in court testimony would be the critical factor in determining whether Koskan would be found guilty after a trial. If his daughter does not testify in open court, or if she recants her earlier statements in response to prosecution attempts to force her to testify against her will, then there will be no conviction, punishment or treatment of Koskan. Thus, it seems reasonable for the prosecution to consider whether she is willing to voluntarily testify in court against Koskan.
If she decides to willingly testify, she will be cross-examined and her credibility attacked for any and every slight inconsistency in her story, including her failure to come forward earlier. If the jury does not find her credible there will be no conviction, punishment or treatment. Thus, it seems reasonable for the prosecutor to consider this young woman’s ability to effectively testify under a strenuous cross examination.
If she succeeds in convincing the jury that what she told law enforcement is true, then a good prosecutor should consider how that will affect her mental health and/or relationship with the rest of her family. Will a criminal trial cause her to suffer even more serious and long lasting harm than what she has already been subjected to? It seems reasonable for a prosecutor to consider whether a plea bargain is in the best interests of Koskan’s daughter’s mental health and future family relationships.
None of us know the answers to these questions or can accurately predict the outcome of a trial. It seems reasonable, however, to expect the prosecuton and victim’s assistant in this case to have focused in on these specific questions in deciding whether to offer any type of plea bargain.
A guilty plea by Koskan guarantees that he will be found guilty of some crimes. Cory’s story indicated that an apparent condition of the plea bargain is that Koskan must submit to psychological treatment, which apparently is exactly what his daughter has asked for rather than sending him to prison.
All of the above factors seem to undermine the summary conclusion that “The plea deal is the biggest farce there is,” at least without actually knowing the considerations of the prosecution that resulted in this particular plea bargain. I will speculate these are the factors that weighed on the Judge’s mind and that is why she decided she needed some more time to explore whatever facts are available on these matters before deciding whether to accept or reject the proposed plea bargain.
And this case is much different than Ravnsborg’s case because no one other than experienced law enforcement would have been needed at Ravnsborg’s trial, hence there was not a similar danger of acquittal if a victim refused to testify or recanted or causing harm to a victim from testifying.
I have no problem with plea deals if they are used to achieve a “just” adjudication of a case with mitigating factors. Too often, they are used to extort a plea from a person who is facing unjust punishment for something the accused might not even have done.
BCB- The young woman who was abused is an eyewitness. If the investigators wanted to, they could easily check timelines and determine if Joel was where she said he was and when she said he was.
Also, an abundance of evidence can be found in her phone. The texts and messages she exchanged with Joel would confirm or deny the claims she made. It can be proven by the surveillance Joel used on her. The GPS he had on her car and camera he put in her bedroom are definitely damning incrimination. If they exist, GUILTY.
All the sick particulars she divulged means there is definitely traces of his semen in the locations she says he raped her. I bet its everywhere. I also bet there’s more eyewitness evidence to be collected by conducting a forensic interview of the other children in the household. Get the FBI to step in to chat with the kids and spray some dang STK spray for traces of his semen.
The outcry she did years before at summer camp also indicates she is telling the truth. What more do you need? Law enforcement just needs to investigate him for incestuous rape and half a dozen other charges of perversion and cruelty to a minor and it has a bow on it.
If she lived with her Native family, the state would have removed her from the home as soon as she told her secret at summer camp. But she lived with whites, so they lost interest.
We have had a problem going on and it is hurting generations. We need to stop looking the other way while they scream in tortured silence all alone.
The truth is if men were the victims of rape and incest, this would be important to them. It would be investigated and perpetrators would be punished severely. Rape has never mattered in SD. We are a haven for it, just look at the popularity of Trump and how many votes Joel got. We had a rapist governor, maybe more than one. Rape is the state pass time.
All Mammal, I have no reason to question this girl’s credibility. I don’t know her or any factual details about her case other than what I read in Cory’s stories. Obviously she is an eyewitness to everything that happened to her, and there may well be corroborrating evidence. And if she fears testifying and refuses to testify at trial after being subpoenaed the prosecutor could certainly have her arrested and jailed for contempt of court. Indeed, making such a threat could even coerce her into to testifying against her will regardless of the consequences she might suffer. For example, one study found that:
Other prosecutors tend to disagree with such a hard ball approach. Instead they took into account what the victim of abuse wanted and consider whether testifying will cause her more pain or trauma, instead of ignoring her wishes and going ahead with a trial regardless of the additional harm to her that might result.
Here, I have no personal knowledge whether the prosecutor in this case is competent or caring nor whether or not she took into account the needs of this victim before agreeing to the proposed plea bargain. That, however, would seem to be the most humane approach.
The plea deal is a de facto admission of guilt. It is a binding agreement between the state and the defendant and it arrived nearly two months before Koskan was arraigned. Under any other circumstance, plea negotiations take place only after preliminary hearing. In light of that, there is all manner of questions of prosecutorial misconduct to be asked. But… the plea deal is signed so no testimony required yet the corroborating evidence, albeit sealed, remains in play! What assumption is there that prosecutors were/are soley dependent upon witness testimony for a conviction. Any prosecutor, worth his salt, doesn’t proceed to indictment without adequate collaborative and corroborating evidence. And a plea deal doesn’t occur without a great deal of doubt by defense, that their client won’t be found guilty on multiple counts thereby assuring a more stringent penalty. A plea deal is nothing more than damage control and the damage Koskan will sustain is bare bones compared to Klaudt or anyone else convicted of the same crimes. The obvious inconsistent application of the law, particularly as it applies to political operatives is as corrupt as it gets. From the agreement, it is pretty clear that the victim will be cared for to her 22nd birthday but to what degree of success and comfort remains questionable. And Koskan will not be required to register as a sex offender. That is neither consistent with Klaudt, state statute, nor similar cases in this state’s history. The state just convicted a sex offender caught up in a covert investigation in Sturgis under the same statutes that Koskan is charged and that guy will go to the penitentiary and pay hefty fines. And his victim was unharmed. Nobody! Nobody is above the law except republican political operatives sheltered under thee 3rd most corrupt political and governmental system in the US.
And while we all speculate in political debate, the fact of the matter here is that the principle of strict liability in criminal law is being ignored in favor of diversionary theories of fairness and equity for the victim. How willing we are to pass over the reality that the victim made the conscious choice to permanently record these felonious events in affidavit, understanding quite well that the investigation and resolution to her abuse would require prolonged testimony and confrontation. Those discussions and counsel are delivered frequently in the investigative phases. A victim’s testimony in court must match their their statements and accusations recorded in the complaint and investigative interviews. The victim is well aware of that going forward toward indictment.
Lastly, Mr. Evans obviously has difficulty distinguishing the difference between denominational doctrine, dogma and that of individual family practitioners, particularly professed Christian Nationalists, that depart regularly from both faith based religion and denominational doctrine. Being wrong remains a matter of opinion. While it is true that the camp at Keystone is a denominational institution, it’s clients and campers are hardly cemented to a particular doctrine or behavior in their attendance. And Mr. Evan’s suggestion that denominational doctrine is universal and prevails uniformly in all congregants shows a profound ignorance of the Christian Religion, along with it’s influences on American politics and law. Baptist Camp Judson caters to other denominations without such facilities, secular organizations, individuals and groups for the purpose of remaining financially viable so the suggestion that denominational influence is instructional to the instant to Koskan’s religious beliefs is unholy fabric. All one has to do is follow Koskan’s professed beliefs, political rhetoric, and the loose doctrinal diversions from the ABC creed to understand the Pentecostal leanings that fuel Joel’s radicalism. However; religious affiliation and dogma have little to do with the larger insult and hypocrisy to Christianity that allegedly guides one’s morals, ethics, and adherence to law. Koskan has always been on the podium professing that we are a “Christian” nation influenced entirely by bibilical pretense yet he violates the core principles and values of all three over multiple years in multiple locations. And to this point, he does so unapologetically. King David admitted his crime and moral breach and was forgiven. Not so in Joel Koskan’s case. Micah 6:8
**religion (not capitalized)
***its (no apostrophe)
“JWcc” is a fountain of lies, and there’s no suggestion in my comments here that denominational doctrine is universal or prevails uniformly in all congregants.
When ‘it’ possesses something, we use a (‘). Weak rebuttal, regardless.
What we have here is a failure to communicate the law equally.
In CA, they have a program called BACA, bikers against child abusers. It empowers abused children in court when they take the stand. It is a badass idea. Something we need in SD.
If Mr. Evans has nothing more than trivial complaining about semantics and meaningless errors in grammar, he’s got nothing to argue with. And his opinions about fountains of lies are likewise baseless opinion. Prove your assertions or just resolve to be a hapless grammarian without legitimate qualification. He might also learn that historical familiarity with both the subject and subject matter of this story trumps anything he might infer with his restricted assessment to experience or reality. One will note that he fails, to address the crux of the matter but drifts off on inconsequential tangents about language usage and punctuation. That amounts to nothing more than non-meritorious Trumpian thrill.
Good one, JWcc. #grins
Evans leaves much to be desired in intellect😀
In one of my November 5 comments above, I’d written:
I’m still hopeful that Echo will be better off in the long run because this has gone public, but Cory has refused to say whether he’s accusing her dad of forcible rape or statutory rape, and so far I haven’t seen persuasive evidence that either one occurred. I no longer believe that Cory’s posts and comments on the topic have been motivated by fatherly instincts, so I’d like to retract my previous statement to that effect.
Mr. Evans, are you asserting her consent — but for her age denying her the legal ability to do do?
If Evans can’t see the criminal act, it is likely it did occur. Just from what I read It sounds like both crimes of rape happened over and over.
Evans is not a legal scholar, even though he fancies himself one.
Mr. Evans, are you on the spectrum?
At least Mr. Evans has the courage to stand for something while grud is still a coward.
Of the 4 of us Libertarian-type fellows on this here blogging place, Mr. Evans is indeed among the 2 bravest, if not currently the most brave. He and my good friend Bob have repeatedly run for public office at the cost of great public shaming, while grudznick and his close personal friend Lar are not suited for such endeavors.
Stuff it Kurt!!!! All rape is violent so who cares what kind it is.
Stuff it Grudz!!!! This article is about rape, not about you and your friends. Rape, a violent act that happens mostly to women. Have you no respect?
Women out there are quiet because of idiots like the 2 of you.