One USD Law student is sharpening her litigious sword before graduation. Aliyah Jackson, her sister Asiah Jackson, and USD cheer friend Hannah Molitor are suing the Hillcrest Golf and Country Club in Yankton, their former manager Adessa Chester, and club members Jeffrey Dayhuff (a Noem chum) and Paul Eichfeld are headed for trial in 2024. In two now-consolidated lawsuits before the U.S. District Court of South Dakota, Southern Division, the Jacksons and Molitor allege unwanted sexual conduct from Dayhuff, Eichfeld, and Chester. They also allege that Chester encouraged her employees to engage in sexual contact with club members.
Making things ookier is that Dayhuff, Eichfeld, and Chester aren’t fully denying touching the employees and instead are asserting the plaintiffs invited their advances:
In response, Hillcrest, Eichfeld and Chester deny all of the plaintiff’s claims. Eichfeld and Chester contend any contact with Molitor was consensual, and the defendants challenge Molitor with the burden of proof regarding any claims for damages.
…In their defense, Chester and Dayhuff deny the claims against them. They contend that “any contact with the plaintiffs was consensual,” and the Jacksons hold the burden of proof for any claims of damages [Randy Dockendorf, “Country Club Lawsuits Appear to Be Headed for 2024 Trials,” Yankton Press & Dakotan, 2023.08.22].
According to discovery reports from the Jackson and Molitor dockets, lawyers for all of the parties, plus Adessa Chester representing herself, conferenced on July 27. The discovery reports note that mediation failed before the plaintiffs filed suit and the parties see no prospects for settlement. The parties expect a five-day jury trial for their consolidated cases on or after August 1, 2024.