MITCHELL (mitchellrepublic.com) — Six Mitchell Legion baseball players have been indicted by a grand jury on charges related to second-degree rape, according to court filings.
Two individuals face three charges in the case. Hudson Michael Haley, 18, is charged with two counts of second-degree rape; and a count for aiding and abetting second-degree rape. Landon William Waddell, 19, is charged with one count of second-degree rape; and two counts of aiding and abetting second-degree rape. Four others face two charges each: Karter Markus Sibson 17; Carter Ryan Miller, 17; Lincoln Charles Bates, 18; and Peyton Douglas Mandel, 17; including one count of second-degree rape and one count of aiding and abetting second-degree rape.
The charges, filed Thursday morning, were made in Pennington County, with all six listed as co-defendants. An arrest warrant has been issued on all of the individuals. All six individuals face charges for second-degree rape and a charge for aiding and abetting second-degree rape. All four charges are Class 1 felonies, each punishable by up to 50 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $50,000.
The indictment indicates the charges were based on grand jury testimony in Pennington County from five individuals, including two South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation agents.
The Mitchell Republic obtained the criminal files through public court records on Thursday morning at the Davison County Courthouse.
According to South Dakota law, “any delinquent child 16 years of age or older against whom Class A, Class B, Class C, Class 1, or Class 2 felony charges have been filed shall be tried in circuit court as an adult.” The law says the person may request a transfer hearing … to determine if it is in the best interest of the public that the child be tried in circuit court as an adult. “In such a transfer hearing, there is a rebuttable presumption that it is in the best interest of the public that any child, 16 years of age or older, who is charged with a Class A, Class B, Class C, Class 1, or Class 2 felony, shall be tried as an adult.”
The Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office has not immediately returned a call to the Mitchell Republic, but the office recently confirmed to the Mitchell Republic that Mitchell Legion coach Luke Norden was not involved in the sexual assault investigation.
Grand juries in South Dakota are made up of at least six jurors, which has broad investigatory powers and is empowered to inquire into criminal offenses which are “committed and triable in its county.” Grand juries may call witnesses, require sworn testimony, and demand that records and other evidence be produced in addition to whatever evidence or information is provided by the state’s attorney.
After its investigation, the grand jury can return an indictment (a statement charging that a crime has been committed) or determine that no crime has been committed. Under an indictment, the defendant is brought before a circuit judge for arraignment and trial.
The indictment alleges that the the events took place between June 1 and June 4, and that the six individuals “did commit the public offense of second-degree rape in that he did, accomplish an act of sexual penetration with any person, to wit (the victim) through the use of force, coercion or threats of immediate and great bodily injury.” Mitchell’s Legion team was playing in the Veterans Classic Tournament in Rapid City during the alleged time frame.
The Mitchell baseball season was halted in late June due to what the Mitchell Baseball Association called “player personnel issues.” The team’s last game was played on June 20.