Update on the Mitchell American Legion Case

MITCHELL, S.D. (Mitchell News Now)

Six Mitchell American Legion players have been accused of rape stemming from an incident in June of 2023 when the team was in Rapid City for a baseball tournament.  Three of the accused were under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged crime and have asked to have their cases moved to juvenile court.  That motion is pending.  The other three were 18 at the time of the incident and will stand trial as adults.

Head Coach Luke Norden and Mitchell Baseball Association President Jeremy Borgan also faced charges.  Borgan was charged with one count of Failure to Report Abuse or Neglect while Norden faced two charges of Failure to Report Abuse or Neglect along with two charges of misprision of a felony.

Wednesday April 17, 2024, in First Circuit Court in Davison County, Norden and Borgan were before the bench with Judge Donna Bucher presiding.  The charges against Borgan were dismissed.  Luke Norden was acquitted at trial on all four charges.

Judge Bucher was critical of the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office for their prosecutorial decisions, citing them for “selective prosecution” and failing to meet the burden of proof necessary for a conviction.

The American Legion Department of South Dakota had previously decided to suspend American Legion Post 18’s affiliation and sponsorship of the Mitchell Baseball Association until all court proceedings have been completed.

The next court date for the six accused players will be July 1st at the Pennington County Courthouse in Rapid City.