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Investigation into SD House candidate charged with rape ongoing; police report sealed

Limited information is available regarding the criminal charge, as the Box Elder Police Department said the investigation is ongoing and a 12-page police report remains sealed.

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Days after losing his race for the South Dakota House of Representatives, Bud May, 37, of Kyle, was arrested on one count of second-degree rape.
Contributed / Pennington County Jail
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BOX ELDER, S.D. — Authorities are keeping tight-lipped regarding the recent rape charges filed against a failed candidate for the South Dakota House of Representatives, as the investigation remains ongoing.

At approximately 4 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, 37-year-old Bud May of Kyle, South Dakota, was booked into the Pennington County Jail on suspicion of second-degree rape. On Tuesday, the Class 1 felony was formally charged against May by Pennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Roxanne Hammond.

Public details surrounding the case, however, are limited.

Bud May was booked into the Pennington County Jail shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, on one count of second-degree rape.

According to a criminal complaint, the incident took place on Saturday, Nov. 12, in Pennington County against a 39-year-old victim. The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office identified the Box Elder Police Department as the arresting agency.

Though criminal charges have already been filed, police in Box Elder told Forum News Service that information regarding the time or place of the incident could not be released, as the investigation remains ongoing.

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Many of the details regarding the rape allegation lie within a sealed 12-page police report logged with the courts. Hammond clarified that it's fairly common for documents to be sealed in crimes of violence. She added that affidavits or probable cause statements could become public after the investigation has been completed.

After appearing in a Pennington County courtroom on Tuesday morning, May will return to the courts on Nov. 30 for a preliminary hearing. If convicted, he could be sentenced to serve up to 50 years in prison and pay fines of up to $50,000.

According to the Pennington County Jail roster, he’s being held without bond.

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Joel Koskan exits a Mellette County courtroom behind his lawyer, Clint Sargent, on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. He's charged with felony child abuse after a family member accused him of molesting her over a course of five years.
Austin Goss / Dakota News Now

May the second candidate charged following sexual misconduct allegations

The charges filed against May made him the second Republican who sought a seat in South Dakota’s next Legislature to be criminally charged following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Days ahead of the Nov. 8 election, Joel Koskan, who at the time was running for a seat in the state’s Senate, was charged with exposing a minor to foreseeable harm after a family member told authorities he had been “raping her since she was a young child.”

A woman told investigators that, from age 14 through 19, Koskan was constantly monitoring her via surveillance cameras and GPS and would "require" the girl to engage in sexual activity with him.

Though investigators with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation said in court documents they believed Koskan committed rape and aggravated incest, Assistant Attorney General Mandy Miiller opted to lodge only one count of child abuse against him.

In his initial appearance on Nov. 7, less than 24 hours before the polls opened, a plea agreement was submitted to the judge, calling for no jail time if Koskan pleads guilty to the penalty. Judge Margo Northrup said she’d need time to decide whether or not she’ll accept the plea.

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Koskan will return to a Mellette County Courtroom on Dec. 12. If the plea agreement were to be rejected, he could face up to 10 years in prison plus fines of up to $20,000. He’s out on a $100,000 bond.

Following Koskan's charge, Dan Lederman, chair of the South Dakota GOP told Forum News Service that the party "unequivocally opposes child abuse in all forms." He did not respond to an inquiry regarding May's candidacy as a Republican.

Koskan lost his race for the Senate seat to Democratic Rep. Shawn Bordeaux, while May placed last in the four-way race for two House seats, defeated by Democratic incumbent Rep. Peri Pourier, and his mother, Republican incumbent Rep. Liz May.

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A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021. After over a year in Mitchell, he moved to Milwaukee, where he now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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