Another (Yes, Another) South Dakota State Rep. Candidate Arrested on Rape Charges
Yes, MULTIPLE South Dakota candidates have been arrested in November.
Content warning: discussion of rape/sexual assault, child abuse, domestic abuse, and murder.
The midterm elections may be (mostly) over, but some candidates are still making news for all the worst reasons.
According to court filings, Bud Marty May, a 37-year-old Republican who just recently lost an election to his mother, incumbent GOP state Rep. Liz May, was arrested and charged with second-degree rape. This is a felony and could carry a sentence of up to 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. The criminal complaint also accuses May of using “force, coercion, or threats of immediate and great bodily injury” during the assault.
The unnamed victim said May had raped her in the bathroom stall of the bar where she was found by law enforcement officers.
May originally claimed he had no involvement at first, then retracted his statement to claim the assault “was simply a hug.” When asked if the alleged assault was consensual, according to the Argus Leader, May had the disgusting reply: “I’m 6-foot-8, it’s all consensual.”
May’s lawyer has yet to comment.
Making this even worse, the district neighboring May’s also had a candidate accused of similar behavior. Joel Matthew Koskan, running in South Dakota’s District 26, was arrested before the election and has been charged with felony child abuse after a family member came forward, accusing him of grooming, molestation, and rape. Despite the potential felony, he had apparently been offered a plea deal that could see him get no jail time.
Both of these point to a larger trend of politicians getting away with alleged inappropriate or outright criminal conduct.
Back in 2018, The Conversation revealed that “Of the 138 government officials accused of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era, 24 percent are still in office today.”
While we have seen some progress with people like Andrew Cuomo resigning, there were still at least 9 midterms candidates accused of domestic violence/sexual assault. One man even won his candidacy while in jail for the murder of his wife (though he withdrew from the election shortly after).
While some of these candidates’ losses do seem to indicate some progress is being made, some of them won, with huge numbers of voters still proving willing to vote for them, which points to a larger looming issue.
Both of those numbers are far too low in my opinion, especially considering these people make laws that could and do make it harder for victims to get justice. 109 republican representatives voted against a bill that would prohibit the use of NDAs in silencing victims of sexual assault/workplace harassment.
All of this feeds into itself. Fair elections may be part of democracy, but so is justice and if we hope to actually create a “more perfect union,” then we need to make sure that those we are electing are actually on the side of justice.
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