Reflections on the day.
Yahoo News has the Klaudt story on the front page of the Yahoo! website tonight. As reported in that story:
The combined charges against him in both counties include eight counts of second-degree rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of sexual contact with a child younger than 16, two counts of witness tampering and one count of stalking. Some of the rape charges carry penalties of up to 50 years in prison.Read that here. Seemingly, all the Associated Press wants to write about is how South Dakota legislators are a bunch of perverts. As a Republican, I look and ask myself and ask - how could we not know? How could we not know? You wish you could have even had a clue back then to prevent all of this.
The accusers were aged 15 to 19 over the years the crimes allegedly occurred. One girl was allegedly molested when she was a legislative page.
and...Klaudt's arrest is the second time in a year that the South Dakota Legislature has been rocked by allegations of improper sexual conduct.
In January, the Senate censured Democrat Dan Sutton after he was accused of fondling an 18-year-old legislative page when they shared a motel room during the 2006 legislative session. Sutton denied the allegation and was re-elected.
As someone who matriculated from the legislature as part of their student programs - with this second strike, does this mean the page program is now dead? I don't think we can chance a third incident before we call it quits with high school students.
As a taxpayer, I ask "how much is this going to cost?" when the victims and their families sue the absolute hell out of the state for putting them in the home of someone who seems to be a sexual predator.
As a concerned citizen, I wonder how many other foster children are abused like this? Kids who have the odds against them in the first place being further victimized by authority figures.
As a father, part of me wonders if frontier justice is still alive and well, and if it reared itself up, would I stand in it's way?
Yes, Ted is innocent until proven guilty. But if that affidavit is accurate on the few things he's already admitted to - I think he's already carved in stone how he's going to be remembered by history. As a person who - in ways so sick they cannot be imagined - sexually abused young girls placed in his care.
Some other Republican might find more innocence than guilt, or generosity, another redeeming quality to defend. But not me. And I don't think I'm alone. Everything I've heard from fellow Republicans today don't leave much room for ambiguity. The comments are almost unanimously "sick" and "evil." One journalist compared the contents of the affidavit to that of the Brad Reay trial.
Can you imagine that - someone thought it so sick and twisted it was akin to murder. And it's tough to disagree.
I could have never imagined we see such a day in our state's political system.
The more I read and re-read the charges - the more I pour over what he's supposedly admitted to already - the more I find myself repulsed and wanting to express that repulsion ad infinitum. But all it does is belabour the point.
It was as sick an act as could ever be conceived. And punishment should be swift and harsh.