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Bud May Escapes Trial for Rape—Victim Won’t Help Prosecutors

Another South Dakota Republican avoids accountability for his bad behavior. The state is dropping rape charges against failed District 27 House candidate Bud May because the victim won’t cooperate with prosecutors:

Senior Deputy State’s Attorney Roxanne Hammond, who was prosecuting the case, said Tuesday the state would have gone forward with the charge if the woman had wanted to cooperate. If the case had continued through to a conviction, May would have faced up to 50 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

The case will be dismissed without prejudice, which means it could be brought against May again should the woman decide to cooperate with prosecutors [Shalom Bear Gee, “Rape Case Against Bud May Will Be Dropped, Prosecutor Says,” Rapid City Journal, 2023.01.17].

Bud May didn’t get that cut on his eye in his mugshot from a simple hug. But Republicans count on the rest of us to remain silent before their atrocities to maintain their unchecked and corrupt power over South Dakota. Bud May is just the latest beneficiary of a public intimidated into silence.

In completely unrelated Legislative news, Attorney General Marty Jackley proposed among his office’s 2023 package of bills Senate Bill 50, which would amend South Dakota’s law against tampering with witnesses. SB 50 would strike the seemingly redundant phrase “with intent to influence a witness” from SDCL 22-11-19. More importantly, it would add persuading or influencing someone else to tamper with a witness to the statutory definition of witness tampering. That crime is a Class 4 felony. “The foundation of our judicial system is to allow witnesses to present facts and information to Judges and Juries to help them make fair determinations,” says A.G. Jackley. “Unfortunately, all too often there are attempts to tamper with witnesses and evidence, and this amendment provides prosecutors with clearer authority to address when someone corruptly influences witnesses.”


  1. Eve Fisher 2023-01-19 11:00

    Someone “convinced” the woman not to talk. That happens a lot. In a country in which 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted, and in a state with horrifically high sexual assault statistics, women are still routinely disbelieved, insulted, threatened, shamed, and generally discouraged from reporting, much less prosecuting rape or incest. And if you live in a small town, with the perpetrator, there’s no place to escape his presence. Or his power.

    It’s much like the Koskan case, where he is STILL out and about, despite raping his own daughter for years. And State’s Attorney Kempema indicated on numerous occasions that (the victim) would prefer to avoid testifying in the case at all costs, on account of her “mental well-being.” Without bothering to allow either her sworn statement to be considered her testimony OR allow her to testify privately to the judge without Koskan sitting there, glaring at her.

    Meanwhile, transgenders are the dangerous ones? I think not. So far every incester / rapist I’ve ever heard of is a heterosexual man who assumes that it’s his right to do whatever he wants – and get away with it. And South Dakota keeps trying to prove them right.

  2. All Mammal 2023-01-19 11:28

    Let us pretend the victim was an invalid. A woman unable to speak to communicate, or point her finger, yet she still had all the physical signs of sexual assault, including the rapists blood smeared across her face, indicating he grabbed her from behind..weenie prosecutors will walk away from the physical evidence based on the inability of the victim to hand them a conviction on a golden platter? Not too lazy and unmotivated a prosecutor’s office. Prosecute the bastard so he quits raping.

  3. Nick Nemec 2023-01-19 12:51

    Bud Marty May is a menace to society. This rape case is from when he allegedly raped a woman in a bar bathroom, what if anything has happened to the allegations that he raped his adopted daughter for years? How many other women are out there that he has raped over the years. What are the chances he has reformed and will no longer offend?

  4. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-19 12:54

    Egregious and typical outcome for a West River rape case. It is hard to overstate the outrages that occur, and are never brought to trial on a West River Saturday night.

  5. All Mammal 2023-01-19 16:18

    I finally realize where I have seen this guy before. It dawned on me I have danced with Bud May before years ago at no other than racist Connie Uhre’s joint, Cheers. No bs. I remember he had a room at whatever the motel was named back then and he wanted me to ditch my friend to go with him. He was a jerk and told me not to bring “my short, mouthy Mexican friend”. She and I took off out the back door. I need to reward my friend for her sassy mouth that night.

  6. Francis Schaffer 2023-01-19 16:21

    Well Marty could add a law removing the statute of limitations for more crimes. Maybe it should be regardless of this situation.

  7. grudznick 2023-01-19 18:46

    Ms. Mammal that is a terrifying literal brush with ick. This is why grudznick doesn’t often visit that Cheers joint. Plus it’s on the north end of the town out there by the interstate.

    But Ms. Uhre would be proud she’s had celebrities like you and Mr. May in her establishment, I am sure.

  8. grudznick 2023-01-19 18:49

    The Perkins there isn’t too bad for a basic breakfast, of course. but Ms. Urhe doesn’t own the Perkins, to be clear. Do not boycott the Perkins.

  9. larry kurtz 2023-01-19 18:56

    Selective enforcement is the whitest kind.

  10. grudznick 2023-01-19 21:38

    You know, Lar, the more I look at Mr. May in his photos, the more he looks like that young fellow you yourownself danced with that last time you were back here in South Dakota and we overindulged. He swished you about the dance floors like a broom dancer, you being in that limp state you end the night in.

  11. Mark Anderson 2023-01-19 22:56

    Bud may or may not be the a hole of the pub party. What can you say? The pubs are pretty much lying, cheating, cowardly, thieving, rapists from the top down these days.

  12. R. Kolbe 2023-01-19 23:34

    Since he only 1/2 raped her then take only ONE testicle. Bet he wouldn’t do that again!

  13. CK 2023-01-20 09:30

    All Mammal: Personally knowing Roxeanne Hammond, I can tell you that she is not a shrinking violet. She most likely would if she could prosecute May without the victim’s testimony. But given the likely situation that this happened in an establishment where May felt safe enough to attempt the assault, there probably isn’t enough corroborating evidence or witnesses. This is good ol’ boy country we’re talking about, after all.

  14. All Mammal 2023-01-20 11:20

    CK- they say it’s a man’s world. Fine. So be it. At least treat a gal like a woman then. His alleged deed should be social suicide. I hope he ‘simply hugs’ a fat porcupine.

  15. All Mammal 2023-01-20 11:30

    My apologies to Roxeanne Hammond.

  16. CK 2023-01-20 21:12

    I agree, All Mammal. If Roxeanne could nail his balls to the wall, I’m sure she would.

  17. Bob Newland 2023-01-22 16:21

    A neighbor and acquaintance of Bud May’s told me today that there is a rumor circulating that the victim was paid $10k to zip her lips. My source says (s)he believes it. It feels pretty plausible to me, as well.

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