Rape case against Bud May will be dropped, prosecutor says

In a courtroom devoid of an audience other than two local reporters, Bud May, a failed South Dakota legislature candidate was told Tuesday the state would be dropping the rape case against him because the alleged victim did not want to cooperate.

The 37-year-old Kyle man — who made an unsuccessful 2022 midterm campaign to represent District 27 — was arrested in November 2022 and charged with second-degree rape for allegedly raping a woman in a bar bathroom. At the start of his case, the state alleged he told law enforcement "I'm 6-foot-8 and white, it's all consensual" when asked about the alleged interaction.

Bud May
Bud May

During his Nov. 15 initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Scott Bogue, the judge referenced law enforcement reports that said the woman was hiding behind a bar counter with dirt, blood and an abrasion on her face when law enforcement arrived. She told them May had raped her in multiple ways. Bogue set May's bond at $7,500 cash only. The next day, May posted the bond.

Second-degree rape is defined as "sexual penetration through the use of force, coercion or threats of immediate and great bodily harm against the victim or other persons within the victim's presence, accompanied by apparent power of execution."

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Senior Deputy State's Attorney Roxanne Hammond, who was prosecuting the case, said Tuesday the state would have gone forward with the charge if the woman had wanted to cooperate. If the case had continued through to a conviction, May would have faced up to 50 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

The case will be dismissed without prejudice, which means it could be brought against May again should the woman decide to cooperate with prosecutors.

There are two warrants out for May's arrest on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. One warrant is from Oct. 26 and the other is from Dec. 6. Publicly available information does not show what the warrants are for.

This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Rape case against Bud May will be dropped, prosecutor says