Joel Koskan, ran for South Dakota Senate, pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal incest: “This is the first step in the healing process”

 Joel Koskan, ran for South Dakota Senate, pleaded guilty to two charges of criminal incest: “This is the first step in the healing process”

Joel Koskan leaves a Hughes County courtroom after pleading guilty to two counts of felony incest in Pierre on Tuesday April 11. (Source: Yahoo)

Joel Koskan, who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2022 and was arrested on child abuse accusations just days before the election, pled guilty to two counts of criminal incest Tuesday morning.

In a Hughes County courtroom, he was sentenced to ten years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

During the hearing, Judge Margo Northrup stated, “This is the first step in the healing process.”

According to court records filed in November, Koskan, 44, was originally charged with felony child abuse for crimes allegedly committed between October 2014 and October 2016. He subjected his victim, now 20 years old, to “sexual grooming behaviors.”

The victim, according to a probable cause statement seen by the Argus Leader before to its sealing in November, was Koskan’s family member who had been sexually assaulted by Koskan since she was a child. Koskan allegedly also mentioned GPS tracking and video surveillance of the victim’s actions.

A special agent with the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation proposed rape, sexual contact with a minor under the age of 16, and aggravated incest charges.

As part of the revised a plea agreement, Koskan would plead guilty to the two charges of felony incest, pay a $10,000 fine for each count, and court expenses, and offer compensation to the victim, which was included in the initial plea agreement, which was rejected by Northrup in March.

According to the additional allegations, Koskan assaulted the woman and had oral sex with her at his house in Wood between April 2 and April 16, 2022.

The Argus Leader does not name victims of sexual assault without their agreement, for reasons of safety and privacy.

According to Brent Kempema, Assistant South Dakota Attorney General, the victim was pushed not to report the sexual assault by Koskan and his family. She attempted to report the years of abuse in 2016, but was unable to do so due to the pain they caused her.

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

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Joel Koskan pleads guilty to 2 counts of felony incest

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