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Daughter’s Brave Stand Forces Joel Koskan to Admit Incest; Judge Gives Republican Rapist 10 Years in Prison

Former Republican Senate candidate and family-values espouser Joel Koskan pled guilty today to two counts of felony incest and was immediately sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary. Among the lessons we may draw:

  1. Justice can still be had in South Dakota, if victims of oppression speak up.
  2. Joel Koskan and, apparently, some members of his family, are selfish sacks of hypocrisy.

Koskan’s adopted American Indian daughter reported Koskan to law enforcement last May, revealing he had raped her for years and had continued forcing himself on her sexually and controlling her in other ways after she left home for college. She found it very difficult to speak about her adoptive father’s crimes against her, because (a) the crimes are unspeakable, and (b) Koskan and his wife Sally pressured her not to stand up for herself, which she said the Koskans referred to as being “disrespectful“.

The family continued that pressure after the daughter alerted police last May:

Brent Kempema, the Assistant South Dakota Attorney General, said the victim had been pressured by Koskan and his family not to report the sexual abuse. She had first tried to report the years of abuse in 2016, but was unable to because of the trauma it caused her.

In May 2022, the victim “summon(ed) the courage to reach out to a friend,” whose father was a retired agent with Department of Criminal Investigation to report further abuse.

“From then on, the pressure was on,” Kempema said, describing Koskan in an act of retaliation had allegedly reported the car she drove stolen.

She had been pressured to “put the family above herself” and to not cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation, Kempema said. She had realized the people she was trying to protect did not have her best interest at heart [Annie Todd, “Joel Koskan, Who Ran for SD Senate, Pleads Guilty to 2 Counts of Felony Incest,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2023.04.11].

Put the family above yourself, said the family trying to protect Joel Koskan, who put himself and his sick sexual desires above his family obligations.

That hypocritical pressure didn’t work. Today, even as her rapist, her predator father, told the court through his attorney that his daughter didn’t want her father to go to prison, Echo Koskan—yeah, say her name, because today she was perhaps the most courageous woman in South Dakota—spoke up:

Dressed in a black dress with yellow and red polka-dots and tan high top sneakers, the victim told the full courtroom Tuesday, “what I want is the truth. What happened isn’t my fault.”

She told [Judge Margo] Northrup that the circuit court judge knew what needed to be done when it came to sentencing in between shuttering breaths and tears. She had realized in the time away from her family that not sending Koskan to prison was meant for the family’s comfort, contrasting what Clint Sargent, Koskan’s lawyer, said minutes before that the victim did not want him incarcerated [Todd, 2023.04.11].

Assistant A.G. Kempema said rapist Joel Koskan “gambled on this young woman folding, but she didn’t.” Judge Northrup commended Echo Koskan for speaking up:

Northrup, in her sentencing decision, explained it is society’s duty to protect children, especially foster children. Koskan took advantage of a child, she said. She then looked at the victim, who had been crying off and on during the 30-minute hearing.

“I hope you can be proud of the fact that you stood up in courage,” Northrup said, adding the victim was a survivor. “You deserve to be loved, cherished and respected by a family” [Todd, 2023.04.11].

Attorney General Marty Jackley wasn’t in the courtroom, but he seconded Judge Northrup’s praise of the victim’s courage in his press release:

Justice has been served in this case because the victim overcame extraordinary conditions to cooperate with the prosecution….  We applaud the victim for her courage and praise the difficult work of the investigators and prosecutors” [Attorney General Marty Jackley, press release, 2023.04.11].

That praise is warranted. Joel Koskan committed heinous crimes, heinous because he committed them against his own daughter, a child already vulnerable before he imprisoned her in his own abusive family, and heinous because as he committed these crimes, he held himself out to voters as a moral Christian man worthy of public trust. Had Echo Koskan not spoken up, has she succumbed to her abusive father’s pressure and the pressure her family heaped upon her, Joel Koskan would not be sitting behind bars right now. He would not have admitted his crimes—although technically, with his guilty pleas, he only admitted some of his most recent offenses, instances of incest committed against his daughter in his home last April, while he was running for office. Joel Koskan would have gone free, and other victims would have been denied this shining example of how even powerful and prominent abusers can be taken down and held accountable by one  brave voice.

Echo, you did good today. You did justice today. And you may help others who are suffering as you have get the justice they deserve. You have a wide community’s love, respect, and gratitude.

38 Comments

  1. Jill 2023-04-11

    Forgive me, but *daughter not dauther. (Also, shuddering, not shuttering, but that’s the Argus’ issue.Ji

  2. Mark Anderson 2023-04-11

    Where’s that libertarian school teacher who said this guys innocent, I really don’t want to mention his name. What’s his take on this? Silence is golden.

  3. Bob Newland 2023-04-11

    Will he be rooming with Ted Klaudt?

  4. All Mammal 2023-04-11

    Woo-hoo! Go, Sheerah!

  5. jakc 2023-04-11

    Should this headline read “Daughter” not “Dauther”?

    [Yes, sorry about that, jakc. My typing is going to heck in my advancing age. —CAH]

  6. Michelle Kalehzan 2023-04-11

    Joel Koskan began contacting me on Twitter in November pretending to be a South Dakota Democratic legislator who is also Native American. He tried to coerce me or dissuade me from pushing for greater punishment for Joel Koskan. I have posted the entire thread which happened on November 20, 2022 if anybody would like to see it. I have been informed by the DCI, that his impersonation of the other native American legislator and his efforts to fool me while also calling my local police to try to get me in trouble were crimes that they brought to the attention of the judge and they were used as leverage , in determining his plea sentence. I am very grateful for the opportunity to stand up for this victim at any cost. On behalf of all victims, we must stand up and support them as they seek justice.

  7. John 2023-04-12

    On has to wonder whether DCI is investigating Sally for aiding and abetting (before, during, or after the fact), or misprision of a felony. If not, why not?

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-04-12

    John, from what I’ve read, I am inclined to agree. Sally Koskan harbored a child rapist and facilitated and covered up his crimes. It sounds like she participated in the pressure campaign. She should spend a little time in the women’s prison in Pierre, to make clear to all parents that their obligation to protect their children includes protection from crimes committed by their spouses.

  9. Nick Nemec 2023-04-12

    Kosken got off lightly, probably because he pled out and spared the state a trial, part of the deal might also have been no charges against his wife. Ted Klaudt, another Republican politician who raped his daughters, got 44 years in prison, plus an additional 10 for witness tampering.

  10. Nick Nemec 2023-04-12

    Mark Anderson, the man in question is a Libertarian ex-school teacher, he has a hard time holding a job. This should not come as a surprise.

  11. Nix 2023-04-12

    If I am not mistaken, and please correct me if this
    is not a fact.
    My understanding is that Marty Jackley originally
    presented the court with a scenario that would
    have resulted in a suspended imposition of sentencing and no prison time and not register
    as a sex offender for Koskans.
    So, if this is true, Jackleys press release is as
    hollow as the Hypocrite that he is.

  12. Bob Newland 2023-04-12

    Jackley is starting to make Ravnsborg look not so bad.

  13. All Mammal 2023-04-12

    I wonder if a the difference between the outcomes of Joel Koskan’s and Bud May’s cases is the fact that Mr. H published the complaint made by the young lady who felt empowered to stand up in court yesterday, which resulted in a conviction. Whereas the information pertaining to the alleged victim in May’s case was never brought to light, causing the pressure to charge him to peter out. Seems to reinforce Mr. H’s decision to say her name.

  14. e platypus onion 2023-04-12

    And koskan;’s crimes were universally condemned by no South Duhkota magats ever. I hope the Koskan kids are removed to a better enviroment than the filth they live in.

  15. Jenny 2023-04-12

    What on earth, Michelle? Was it Shaun Bordeaux that Koskan was impersonating? Where can your thread be seen? My god, what a dangerous POS.
    My guess is that Koskan will be ‘redeemed by God’ and will run for office when he gets out. Because he’s a Pub and God saved him, SD will vote for him. Pubs are creepy that way.
    Thank you to Echo, who stood up courageously fighting for justice. She has helped women more than she will ever know to never be ashamed to tell their story and to keep fighting.

  16. bearcreekbat 2023-04-12

    Criticism of Jackley may be approrpiate for many reasons. Without being part of the process, or having access to the underlying facts, however, it seems a stretch to accuse Jackley (or the deputy AG attorneys that proposed the rejected plea deal) of either corruption due to Koskan’s membership in the legislature or republican party, or plain old hypocrisy.

    I was not part of the process and have no knowledge of the underlying facts, but from reading Cory’s blog and the recent newspaper reports I would speculate that the State’s proposed acceptance of the initial plea agreement was more likely a result of two factors: (1) the victim’s expressed reluctance to go to trial and help seek a prison term for Koskan, and/or cause to damage the Koskan family, by publicly revealing what had been done to her; and (2) the danger that Koskan would walk with no accountability if the case was tried with a victim refusing to cooperate. I base this speculation on the reports that Koskan, and/or his family were threatening the victim, begging her not to cooperate, and falsely accusing her of car theft. In addition, the victim reportedly also asked the Court at the sentencing hearing not to sentence Koskan to prison even after his plea of guilty to the much more serious charges.

    In this case, I believe credit should go to both the judge that was willing to reject that proposed plea agreement and the victim who did cooperate at sentencing by telling the world what Koskan had done to her. Making Jackley a scapegoat strikes me as misplaced.

  17. Richard Schriever 2023-04-12

    John,

    Perhaps the lack of attention to Mrs. Koskan is a part of the plea deal. But it could just as easily be representative of the engrained misogyny that is the SD legal system culture. Back in the ay back, a married couple friends of mine were charged with large scale drug dealing. Well, actually he was charged, while she was not, even though she was the half of the pair actually most engaged in directing and doing of the illegal activity. Led to a divorce as well after prison time for him.

  18. bearcreekbat 2023-04-12

    One other point seems inconsistent with claims of Jackley’s favoritism due to the State’s proposed acceptance of the rejected plea deal. When a plea deal is rejected by a court, a prosecutor has three options: (1) move the case forward as originally charged; (2) get around the judge’s ruling by filing an amended information with the charges reduced to whatever level the prosecutor was going to agree to in the proposed plea deal; or (3 )get around the judge’s ruling by simply dismissing the case altogether and letting the alleged perpetrator walk.

    The fact that Jackley’s office followed the first path tends to undermine a favoritism conspiracy theory.

  19. Nix 2023-04-12

    Anthony,
    Then I was mistaken and I stand corrected.
    Thanks

  20. M 2023-04-12

    Good one Bob, put him with Klaudt in a soundproof room with a stirrup exam table. Lock the door and throw away the key.

  21. bearcreekbat 2023-04-12

    Anthony, thanks for pointing out that temporal problem! Incidentally I too have no desire to defend Jackley on anything, nor Vargo for that matter. Nevertheless it seems important to address the most likely reality regardless of who might be accused of wrongdoing. I am loathe to condemn anyone based on factual questionable premises (even Donald Trump) especially when there are plenty of factually supportable reasons to support condemnation.

    In this case my analysis would apply to most any prosecutor, regardless of political persuasion, including Vargo. And that is not to say that actual contrary evidence should be dismissed. Here I am aware of no such contrary evidence, although it certainly could exist.

  22. e platypus onion 2023-04-12

    Is Koskan a registered sexual predator and has Jackley ever atoned for his part in the Mette Case?

  23. Dr. Michelle Kalehzan 2023-04-12

    #JoelKoskan #SouthDakota l am very grateful that the SD Democratic Native American former legislator who was impersonated by Joel Koskan has agreed to let me reveal his name. He’s a true hero for stepping up and helping this investigation. His name is Senator Troy Heinert.

    Senator Heinert had previously defeated Joel Koskan, as well as his father in multiple South Dakota legislative races in the past.
    Apparently, Joel Koskan held such animosity for Senator Heinert that he tried to manufacture a fake Twitter profile using Troy’s photo. He then
    Leaned into and manipulated by using
    Troy’s Native American tribal status to try to sway me to shut up about the charges that were pending against him for molesting his native American adopted daughter. I am truly grateful to Senator Heinert for his honesty and advocacy for Echo.

    Senator Troy Heinert is a standup guy with the kind of ethics that we need to see more of in South Dakota government. If he ever runs for office again, I strongly urge you to vote for him. He is one of the good guys and I am proud to recognize him as a fellow South Dakotan. J.

  24. Dr. Michelle Kalehzan 2023-04-12

    A long read, but interesting:

    Today was one of the best days I’ve had in years. Justice is sweet. And now I can finally talk about this 6 months of pure stress that ended well actually. Joel Koskan, SD Republican candidate for legislature was convicted today, and sentenced to 10 years in prison for two counts of incest or rape of his adopted native American daughter, which occurred over the course of many years. When I started speaking up on Twitter, about this case, I received the following set of messages one day. The problem was that these messages were from Joel Koskan, but he put a fake header on the Twitter account so I thought it was a native American Democratic legislator from South Dakota. He was trying to persuade me to shut up about his case and he thought if he posed as a Native American man, I might listen. Too bad for him we figured out who he was very quickly and the South Dakota DCI confirmed it was him. This information was used by the judge to determine the sentence today. It is a good day for justice.🙏

    Sunday, Nov 20, 2022

    Joel Koskan sent this to me, via Twitter DM’s on Nov 20, 2022, while impersonating a SD State Democratic legislator:
    You are working against the
    desired outcome of what Echo Koskan wants. You are causing more trauma for this young lady that has worked
    out a deal that she wants. Read the Dakota News Now article. She wants this over with.

    I replied: How disappointing it is to receive this dm from you, someone I formerly held respect for in terms of your service to SD. First, l’ve never used the victim’s name publicly in order to protect *her* privacy.
    Confidentiality is the core value of my life’s work.
    Another core value of my profession is to report child abusers to authorities even when the child has been reluctant to do so. I know too well the psychological toll taken on victims of sexual abuse, especially when it’s committed by a family member. The law shouldn’t protect men who commit child rape and incest because the victim ostensibly is reported to not want it. Joel Koskan has other minor children in his home. He has agreed to a substandard plea that indicates he admits wrongful conduct toward this victim.

    My heart goes out to this young victim. It appalls me that anyone would consider giving this man a virtual slap on the hand for the heinous crimes he’s alleged to have committed against an adopted Native child. Did the victim make you her spokesperson? I doubt it.
    Yet, you feel compelled to write to me and try to coerce me into silence about a crime – like too many in South Dakota – against a child who’s now a young woman. This is deeply disappointing in that I previously held respect for your legislative work. It’s regrettable that you feel this way about this case and that you would reach out to me with this scolding tone.
    Shaming women and children into silence is a tactic that has been used forever by some in order to allow the status quo of letting men get away with crimes they’ve committed against them. The law doesn’t ask victims to determine the punishment of their victimizers for a reason: Many victims have been coerced by others to stay silent or risk abandonment by the only family they have. You are an intelligent man and should realize this. My highest priority in my life’s work is protecting victims. Joel Koskan is accused of some of the worst crimes that can be committed – against an innocent adopted child. Why you would support him going virtually unpunished is gravely disturbing to me. You could have approached me to engage in a serious conversation; instead you dm’d me to scold and attempt to guilt trip me into silence. Whether you realiz it or not, your actions are part of the problem in SD and why so many men in SD get away with harming women and children.

    Joel Koskan replied:

    I could less for Joel. Echo has expressed her desires and has worked out a deal to her liking. You trying to use this as your soapbox is hurting her cause. She wants this deal. She showed up in court to ask for this deal specifically. You are hurting her cause. She wants this to be over and start to heal. Joel is a POS.
    You don’t know all the details of the situation.

    I replied: Again, are you her
    spokesperson? Furthermore, are you a clinical psychologist or trained mental health professional of any kind? I know your intention is to demean me, someone you don’t begin to know, by describing me as being “on a soapbox”, but I won’t go silent because you right to approach me and scold me. That maybe has worked for you in SD, but I’ve been around too long to be coerced like that. Professionally and
    personally I will always stand for victims – those in the public eye and not. It is my greatest responsibility. It seems you don’t or won’t understand that.

    Joel Koskan replied: Don’t be confused. I agree that the law is the law and should be abided by. If others continue to push on Echo, she may recant and he walks free. The AAG stated that she cannot take the stand on account of her mental well-being. The press that this has received has made it even worse for her, from what I’ve been told.
    Keep pushing and watch this get thrown out. I’d rather have something on him than nothing.

    I replied: A 4th degree felony that amounts to bothering a child is enough punishment for him, in your opinion? l’ve been in court with
    individuals whose mental well-being was in peril because they’d been victims. I’ve seen my own child suffer through this when she was the victim of a stranger predator who committed a sex offense. We both had to testify in front of a jury. It was not easy. But, this monster was convicted.
    He was taken off the streets.
    I have deep compassion for victims and to suggest otherwise is insulting. I guess this is how SD has devolved into being the state with the 3rd highest rate of rapes in our country.
    Shaming victims and their supporters into submission and silence just allows victimizers to get away with their crimes.

    Joel Koskan replied: That is your choice. Your daughter isn’t Echo. From my understanding Echo has controlled this whole situation from start to potential finish. If she doesn’t get what she wants she won’t move forward with this. Do as you wish. Don’t be surprised by the outcome.

    I replied: Don’t be surprised if I put your arm-twisting on blast. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat. The way you’ve approached me is manipulative and wrong.
    Very disappointing, indeed.

    Joel Koskan replied: Sorry to reach out to you. I want the best in this situation

    ——————-
    And at that exact moment he deleted the entire FAKE Twitter profile he’d created to damage the reputation of a Democratic Native American legislator from South Dakota as Indicated by this Twitter message:

    “You can no longer send Direct Messages to this person. Learn more”

    —————
    A good man’s name easily could’ve been destroyed if I immediately posted this exchange on Twitter. Fortunately, my intuition and good clinical sense kicked in and told me it doesn’t make sense that a married man and a father and a democratic Native American Legislator would be sending me these messages, trying to pressure me to stop talking about the Joel Koskan case. And if I had posted this thread and attributed it wrongly to this Native American man, he could’ve turned around and sued me for damaging his professional reputation. It was actually a very clever ploy to take out two individuals who did not know each other that he clearly held grudges against.

    I reached out to a trusted third-party and was able to confirm these messages were not sent by this Native American legislator. We reported it all to the DCI of South Dakota, and I was informed today that the IP addresses from the Twitter postings were indeed associated with Joel Koskan. In other words, he got busted. This experience caused incredible stress for me, and the other South Dakota Democratic legislator who is Native American. Today I was informed that the judge had knowledge of all of these impersonations and mental gymnastics that Joel Koskan engaged in and they were used against him in order to secure a plea deal For 10 years in prison. I assume that without accepting this plea deal, they would’ve asked for substantially more time in prison for him.

    At one latter point Joel Koskan actually called my local police jurisdiction here in the San Francisco Bay area and lied to the police officer, saying that I had posted his address and phone number online, which I had clearly never done. He also complained that I had posted his PPP loans online and the officer reminded him that this is public information, never mind that Koskan posted my PPP loans on line prior to this. My local police told me he was a fast talker who sounding desperate to pin something on me and that I should be careful. THIS is what a cowardly, entitled rich boy pedophile does when cornered. I am so grateful that I could be part of the uncovering of his malicious activities. I am a grown woman with a nearly 30 year career as a Doctor of Psychology so I can only imagine how he was able to intimidate the child victim in this case.

    He’s morally bankrupt and so is his attorney that would defend such a monster. I hope we ALL will stand up for the victim in this case. I offer her my moral support to her always. She’s the true hero in this story.

    The end.

  25. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-04-12

    All Mammal, yes, I’ll bet the willingness of the victim to speak up has a lot to do with why Bud May is a free thug while Joel Koskan is sitting behind bars.

  26. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-04-12

    Anthony helps clarify that we can’t rap Jackley for offering that first ridiculous plea deal. I’m not even sure we can knock Vargo (though remember, I’m biased, since I like Vargo more than I like Jackley). When Vargo was dealing with the case last year, the daughter was evidently not willing to cooperate. Echo Koskan didn’t really flip for the prosecution until last month, when Judge Northrup rejected the plea deal. Had Jackley been in office back in November (and he had been working closely with Vargo on transition since summer), without cooperation of the star witness, he might have been stuck having to go for the plea deal.

  27. Jenny 2023-04-13

    Thank you Dr Kalehzan for posting what you went through with Koskan. It is disturbing to say the least and I’m glad this criminal will finally be behind bars.

  28. e platypus onion 2023-04-13

    Now, Koskan will have to both serve prison time, and register as a sex offender upon reentering society. Thanks epo for researching and answering earlier question.

  29. Eve Fisher 2023-04-13

    Koskan’s conviction and sentencing was the best news I’ve heard for a long time. South Dakota has a terrible history when it comes to incest and rape. I remember a time when, in the 4th Judicial Circuit, a grandfather was convicted of having raped all 4 of his grandchildren – and was given probation because “He had no prior criminal convictions.” Everyone in the courtroom (except the grandfather) was incandescent with rage.
    Meanwhile, don’t worry about Koskan – I’m sure the boys in prison have a warm, and exceeedingly personal, welcome waiting for him.

  30. 96Tears 2023-04-13

    Thank you Dr. Michelle Kalehzan for your comments above. Your story demonstrates how evil and consciously manipulative Joel Koskan has been throughout the grooming, rapes, stalking and cover-up both in his own household and with the public at large. The narcissism that would justify his bogus conversation with you in the disguise of his and his father’s political rival — a seated State Senator — to coerce your silence is mind blowing. It shows he is willing to go to any length to satisfy his wants with no concern for being caught or who he destroys in the process.

    I’ve got to rethink my view of his wife Sally’s role in all of this. She was part of the household cover-up and the grooming to trap Echo into remaining a sex toy for Joel Koskan. I wonder what was her journey from the day they brought Echo home for the first time to telling her daughter to remain silent and lock her door when Joel’s feeling a little horny. Joel Koskan is a monster, but what about Sally? Did he control her, too, and how did that happen?

    As a parent, I am so very proud of Echo for taking a stand that allowed the state to force Joel Koskan into prison (BTW, are the two five-year sentences to be served concurrently?). This is a story that is not only a cautionary tale of what happens far more frequently than most people imagine, but it is also a heroic journey of a young victim whose sense of family and being was smashed by her adopted parents and who stood up against their weaselly pressure campaign, a politically powerful family name embedded deep in redneck ranchland and a justice system that has had a history of pandering to the powerful and elite. She had the backing of law enforcement and professionals like Dr. Kalehzan and Judge Northrup. For the extreme damage he has done, Joel Koskan’s sentence should have been more extreme, but at least there wasn’t a protracted criminal trial forcing the victim to re-experience the severe pain Joel Koskan put her through.

    I also think Cory Heidelberger’s focus on this case, including the publication of the investigative document that named the victim, kicked the lid clean off of the pressure campaign and the well-coordinated effort to allow the rich, spoiled Joel to escape justice and forever doom Echo to remain in the mental prison Joel crafted to have his way with her and evade justice. As news of this heinous crime came out, Dakota Free Press far and away outdid all other media producing news and facts on this case. If it hadn’t been for Cory’s reporting, as risky as it could have been, I think Joel would have got his way with the original plea bargain and he would be in his house today controlling Sally and the three children remaining in that household. It would have been his word against an Indian girl, another Jacinta Eagle Deer whose name would be forgotten and whose death and claims of rape would be viewed as politically suspect.

    I hope a talented author picks up on the case, Dr. Kalehzan’s interaction with the fake state senator, Echo’s journey through the grooming and Joel’s efforts to stalk her in her bedroom at home and the house he bought for her in Watertown and produces a bestseller. This is a story that needs to be told on a very large scale for good reasons.

  31. e platypus onion 2023-04-13

    Mayhaps the magat lege will make rape permissible for magat families when they adopt as long as they are sworn gawd fearing kristians and white.

  32. Arlo Blundt 2023-04-13

    Eve is correct…South Dakota has a long, and shameful history when it comes to prosecuting incest. State’s Attorneys who a popularly elected are very reluctant to aggressively pursue prosecutions. Judges can be reluctant to apply the full ramifications of the law and often are open to plea bargains to bury the case if not the problem. They view incest as a intransigent problem, inherent to communities, especially isolated communities. The circle of violence must be broken.

  33. Arlo Blundt 2023-04-13

    50 years ago, I worked in an adolescent treatment program where we served teenagers who were victims of incest and who had come to the attention of authorities, usually for delinquency of some kind or for being chronic “runaways”. Status offenses, which are not offenses when committed by adults. A probation officer who served a number of rural counties, told me that in his twenty-five years of experience as a juvenile probation officer he had always had at least one, and usually more, children on his caseload who were victims of incest. The children suffer from a deep depression, a sense of self loathing as they have been taught that they are at fault for the abuse, and a deep sense that somewhere, anywhere, would be better than where they were residing. Sometimes they were a peer of an abuse victim, not the victim, but had acquired the same depression and despair. A part of this despair was the fact that no one in their community was intervening, no one was willing to save them. Their’s is a very tough reality. In South Dakota, for years and perhaps now, all our legislature and legal system could think to do with them, was confine and punish them.

  34. rbeckley 2023-04-14

    I doubt the daughter is his only victim.

  35. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-04-16

    rbeckley, can you provide evidence that Joel Koskan has victimized others?

  36. Denise Ruggiero 2023-11-05

    How dare the Dakota Free Press to PUBLISH the victims name without consent!
    There was no need to speak to her at all by name in this garbage rag of a new site.
    Now, you’ve re-victimized her! SHAME ON YOU!

  37. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-11-05

    New site? Obviously Denise is not paying attention.

    I don’t buy this revictimizing baloney. The victim spoke in open court. The crime is public record. It’s important that we know the full gravity of Joel Koskan’s crime. His daughter’s brave testimony put Koskan away. If there’s any revictimization going on, it may be in our constantly saying Joel’s name but not honoring Echo by saying her name. Isn’t “Say Her Name!” a rallying cry to support the victims of other crimes and fight the institutional racism and erasure of victims under their oppressors?

    Save your outrage, Denise, for the actual criminal, the actual rapist.

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