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South Dakota's State Concealed Sexual Exploitation of Lakota Children: The Mette Affair

May 15, 2013:

The state of South Dakota placed seven Lakota children into a non-Native foster home (a violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act) with a known child molester Richard Mette and his enabling wife Wendy Mette for twelve years from 2001 to 2013. South Dakota’s Department of Social Services ignored multiple complaints of sexual and physical abuse only addressing the issue when, in October 2010, one of the children, covered in bruises, went to see his doctor who was compelled to report the abuse to the authorities.

Richard Mette was charged with twenty-three felony counts of abuse, including first-degree rape of a child under ten years of age, and Wendy Mette was indicted on eleven counts of felony child abuse. In a plea bargain with Special Prosecutor Michael Moore (specifically appointed by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley), all charges were dropped against Wendy Mette, and all but one charge was dropped against Richard Mette. The children were then placed back in the home of their abuser where they remain to this day.

This is the story of state corruption and cover up in complete disregard of the safety of innocent children.

The full version, a summary version, and a two-page overview flyer of this report are available for download.

Abandoned and Forgotten (Full Length Report)

Abandoned and Forgotten (Summary Report)

The Mette Case (Overview Flyer)