The Hughes County Courthouse in Pierre, pictured in November 2022. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)
Former legislative candidate Joel Koskan was sentenced to 10 years in state prison on Tuesday after pleading guilty to two felony counts of incest, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
The charges stemmed from sexual activity with an adopted child. Charges were filed against Koskan in November, just days before the general election in which he was running as a Republican for a state Senate seat. Koskan, from the rural community of Wood in Mellette County, lost the race but received 42 percent of the votes cast.
Attorney General Marty Jackley praised the victim for showing courage and the investigators and prosecutors for their work.
“Justice has been served in this case because the victim overcame extraordinary conditions to cooperate with the prosecution,” Jackley said in a news release.
Circuit Court Judge Margo Northrup accepted Koskan’s guilty plea Tuesday in a Hughes County courtroom in Pierre. Koskan waived his right to a delay in his sentencing and was immediately sentenced. In addition to the prison time, he was ordered to pay more than $20,000 in fines.
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