Disgraced former South Dakota state senate candidate Joel Koskan has been sentenced to ten years in state prison on two charges of incest.
Judge Margo Northup, a Sixth Circuit Court Judge, opted to sentence Koskan to the maximum sentence, and to pay roughly $20,000 in fines during a sentencing hearing Tuesday at the Hughes County courthouse.
The charges Koskan pleaded guilty to stem from crimes committed at his residence.
“He acted like a jealous lover more than a father,” Northup said. “He took advantage of a child that viewed him as a father.”
But Koskan’s need for control didn’t end once the investigation began. Immediately after Koskan found out that the victim had reported his crimes to the Spink County Sheriff’s office, Koskan sought to pressure the victim to back off the allegations against him.
Shortly after the victim approached police for the first time, Koskan reported the victim’s vehicle as stolen to the police.
As a result, the victim struggled with mental health issues, having intermittent panic attacks most specifically when speaking with law enforcement and prosecutors.
“She would not be in the position she is if not for the defendant’s actions,” said Brent Kempema, a Deputy Attorney General who represented the prosecution.
Koskan’s family also pressured the victim to not cooperate with law enforcement. According to the prosecution, family members of Koskan’s sent the victim a news article, detailing how a former South Dakota state lawmaker had rape charges dismissed against him because the victims chose not to cooperate in the investigation.
“The defendant’s gamble didn’t pay off. He gambled she would fold and she didn’t,” Kempema said in his closing remarks. “He needs to pay for his failed gamble.”