Joel Koskan Loses Senate Race Over Child Abuse Allegations


A South Dakota man running for state Senate lost his race as he faced ongoing child abuse allegations and charges.

Joel Matthew Koskan, 44, is on trial for child abuse charges allegedly committed between Oct. 5, 2014 and Oct. 5, 2020, according to a complaint filed in the Mellette County Sixth Court Circuit.

Koskan appeared at the Mellette County courthouse Monday for his first hearing on his child abuse charge. A plea deal is on the table for the court’s consideration that would prevent Koskan from serving time in jail or jail, according to court documents.

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Koskan allegedly exposed a now 20-year-old family member to “sexual grooming behavior,” according to court documents.

The relationship is not clearly stated in court documents, except that it is a family relationship.

More:South Dakota Senate Candidate Joel Koskan’s Plea Deal Consideration in Child Abuse Case Made Public

Koskan is a Republican who took on Rep. Shawn Bordeaux, a Mission Democrat, for the Senate seat in District 26. The seat was taken by Sen. Troy Heinert, a limited-term Mission Democrat.

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According to the state website, Koskan lost 42% of Bordeaux’s 58% when the votes were finally counted shortly before 1am on Wednesday. A total of 5,974 votes were cast for the District 26 Senate race.

Koskan previously lost to Heinert twice, once in the 2020 election and the other in the 2018 election. Koskan’s father, John Koskan, served in the state legislature for 16 years. He is out on bail after paying $10,000 in cash, according to court documents.

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This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Joel Koskan Loses Senate Race Over Child Abuse Allegations