Major *ick* factor

South Dakota: very conservative, very Republican, very concerned with women’s reproduction, and none of it in a good way. This story just personifies the worst of South Dakota’s repressive residents perfectly.

A former South Dakota lawmaker is accused of molesting his own foster children and legislative pages.

Ted Klaudt, 49, a Republican rancher from Walker, faces a long list of charges: eight counts of rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of witness tampering, sexual contact with a person under 16, and stalking.

Court documents mention five possible victims. Three were foster children between the ages of 15 and 19 who lived with Klaudt’s family. One is a cousin of one of those girls, and the fifth is a friend of Klaudt’s daughter.

In the most disturbing accusation, the girls say Klaudt had them convinced they could earn up to $20,000 by donating their eggs to a fertility clinic. And even though he has no medical training, the girls say Klaudt did all the supposed “exams” and “procedures” himself.

If you feel the urge to go wash compulsively, you’re excused.

But, see, this is one of the virtues of keeping young women ignorant of basic reproductive health. He was able to convince them to let him, a farmer with no medical training, that he needed to give them breast exams and poke around in their reproductive tracts…and they believed him. All those restrictive laws passed by repulsive old Republicans suddenly make sense.

If the South Dakota legislature is sufficiently repelled by this horror story, one way they could make amends is by rushing through some sensible sex education laws.


  1. Skeptic8 says

    (Drying, compulsively too)
    Daddy speaks for BIG DADDY so don’t you ast no questions.
    Reminds me of a Falwell quote: “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, don’t ask questions.”

  2. Science Goddess says

    Not completely unrelated, I was looking at a news report of a young girl (age 17) in Kurdish Iraq who was stoned to death by her family for being seen with a Sunni man. She is of a religion called Yazidis (never heard of it). Apparently these people “look down” on those of other religions. Why is it that these Fundi religions hate women so much?

    It makes me ill.


  3. amph says

    Lou Raguse: Ted what do you have to say about these charges?
    Klaudt: No comment.
    Lou: All your voters over the years? What do you want them to know?
    Klaudt: (no response)
    Lou: Ted, do you deny the accusations?
    Klaudt: (no response)

    Well, that does tell it all, doesn’t it?

    Take a look at that guy’s picture. Life in prison will not be that long for him- a heart attack within a year seems likely.

    But who cares. What happens to the victims now? Is there at least some form of professional help for them, down in South Dakota? Are they going to be targeted by the press?

    And how often do these things happen without ever being revealed?

  4. raven says

    But, see, this is one of the virtues of keeping young women ignorant of basic reproductive health.

    Something vaguely similar regarding ignorant women from South Dakota happened to a friend of mine. He was going out with a foxy girl from SD in college on the west coast. It didn’t take too long for him to start complaining about how uneducated and “dumb” she was.

    Having been around the block a few times, I asked him what they were using for birth control. He said he didn’t know but would ask her. Bad sign. Her answer was, “what is birth control?” Pretty amazing lack of knowledge for people in their early 20s. This was a while ago but doesn’t look like anything has changed.

  5. JohnnieCanuck says

    One of the arguments against sex education in the schools is that it is up to parents and guardians to determine what and how children are taught.

    We now have a powerful counter example.

  6. CalGeorge says

    This anti-abortion, pro dildo-and-speculum legislator hopefully will go to jail for a long time.

  7. Caledonian says

    “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, don’t ask questions.”

    That’s usually a redundancy.

  8. HP says

    Tristero over at Hullabaloo has the rundown on Klaudt’s legislative record. It’s exactly what you’d expect.

    Still, this is the kind of thing that bears repeating.

  9. Fernando Magyar says

    Just maybe those chubby little cherubic cheeks of his will get pinched pretty hard where he’s going. I have to apologize for my vivid imagination but I see him in the role of the greased pig and I don’t think he will be squealing with delight. What a sick bastard!

  10. says

    It should be needless to say this guy should be kicked in the butt until his nose bleeds. It should also be needless to say that young men and women have a right to correct information about their bodies and sexualty _regardless_ of their parents’ religious beliefs. Too bad, fundies, your kids will have to navigate life’s waters on their own, and deserve every weapon that may help them avoid predators. The simple teaching we give pre-schoolers about touching that makes you feel bad would have helped these young women. They should have felt they could say “no! don’t touch me” and run away. They should have felt safe in telling their parents/teachers/other adults about this mess before it went so far. It makes me feel ill that in the 21st century, we still have young people so repressed that they endure such awful treatment before they come out and say something.

  11. says

    Re #1 and #4: As I’ve always contended, this is why fundamentalist religions and authoritarian ideologies are a kind of reproductive strategy meme for the repulsive. If females had more control over mate choice (as in birds), these guys would have been eliminated from the gene pool long ago.

  12. Azkyroth says

    Re #1 and #4: As I’ve always contended, this is why fundamentalist religions and authoritarian ideologies are a kind of reproductive strategy meme for the repulsive. If females had more control over mate choice (as in birds), these guys would have been eliminated from the gene pool long ago.

    I think you’re on to something, but I would expand it to include disgusting personalities as well as the physically unattractive. I think that’s kind of the main focus, actually.

    And it’s worth noting that the habit many women STILL have of teaching their daughters to consider mate resources first and mate personality and quality of relationship second isn’t helping.

  13. says

    Well, in any case, this is how this asshole looks like, and boy does he look like the quintessential Republican child abuser

    OMG, that has Fark photoshop written all over it.

  14. says

    Not sure how many people know of the Klaudt Indian Family… but I imagine Ted is related. I have a couple of their records– weird stuff! Anyway, it just ups the oddball factor. Here’s a link– Klaudt Indian Family

  15. Fernando Magyar says

    #15 and #16,
    Just curious how do you tie it in with the stoning of the young woman in Iraq? Do you think that that too is a form of mating strategy? Maybe they want to eliminate the possibility of the rival tribe’s offspring being raised by a woman from their own tribe? Is there anything similar to this behavior in other primates or animals that might at least explain what it is that these lamentable excuses for human beings are doing. If nothing else it is one of the clearest examples of why we have to really try to eliminate all religion once and for all.

  16. John Emerson says

    One of South Dakota’s major Republican politicians, ex-Rep. Janklow recently ran a red light and killed someone. He got a very lenient sentence despite a long string of serious traffic offenses. Some time ago ago he was also accused of raping two Native American girls at different times — he was underage the first time and the second time the victim was murdered before trial. None of this did him any harm with his constituency.

    A friend of mine whose parents grew up on a S.D. reservation (Pine Ridge, I think) makes it sound worse than Mississippi.


  17. N.Wells says

    I fear that too many South Dakota republicans will blame not the politician but the victims, probably on the grounds that they were all young tarts with severe moral failings and far too much knowledge of and curiousity about sex, surely because of sex education, the liberal media, evolution, and not enough prayer in the schools. If only they had been more repressed, all of this trouble would never have happened. [/snark]

  18. says

    The Yazidis are not Muslim though they have been influenced by Islam. Their religion seems to be a development of pre-Islamic pre-Christian Persian religion. They are ethnically Kurds.

    Honor killing was once common all through the Mediterranean region, including Greece, Italy, and Spain.

  19. says

    #19 I’m not a professional expert, but I’m guessing there probably isn’t an exact parallel in the animal kingdom due to the fact that humans have a more complex family/tribal structure and a more heightened and sophisticated awareness of the relationship between sex and having children. Male monkeys and apes do bully and intimidate females, but they don’t possess the more highly developed egos of humans who may be driven to oppress or kill for more abstract reasons such as “honor”.

    Punishments such as stonings are ancient tribal customs dating back to Biblical times. As with all punishments they are used to keep order within the tribe and serve as a warning to others. Perhaps, yes, the killing of women suspected of “straying” might be another way to control women (and their ability to choose their own mates).

  20. FungiFromYuggoth says

    The most common transliterations seem to be Yazidi or Yezidi. There’s apparently a fair amount of controversy over whether or not they’re an offshot of Zoroastrianism the other way around.

    The Yezidis believe that Melek Taus (also called Satan) is a good archangel set to be in charge of the world. As you can imagine, theologically they get on with Muslims like a church on fire. I read a first-person travel account by a western journalist who visited a Yezidi village, but I can’t track it down.

    I think John Emerson at #22 has a point – I think honor killings are associated with patriarchal cultures, though many cultures point to religion to justify atrocities. (Like Noah’s son Ham and slavery.)

    ObGeek – in Alan Moore’s “Top Ten” metahuman police comic, one of the cops is a Yezidi.

  21. says

    As a South Dakota resident I should let you know that we’re not all fucked up–just most of us. Most people around here are very convserative, Jesus-loving, god-fearing people. I stand out like a sore thumb. Most of the people around here are pro-creation psuedoscience.
    It’s hard to find intelligent women in this area, true. There are some sane people here, though.
    The Janklow stories were huge, and I don’t know how he got away with all that shit. The DUI thing was blamed on his perscription medicine (*ahembullshit*).
    My state is really fucked up, but damnit, some of us are sane! I swear!

    By the way, I don’t think this incident reflects how utterly fucked up this state is. Yes, it gets worse.

  22. says

    What is WITH these people? All these god dammed Republicans, w/their ‘family values’, which family? Manson? Caligula? I turn around, ANOTHER 1 of these 2-faced dichotomists is engaging in some behavior they revile.
    Oh, here’s a good 1:
    What do hillbillies do on Halloween?
    Pump kin.

  23. Mooser says

    Did you hear the one about the traveling salesman and the farmer’s daughter?

  24. says

    Why is it that it doesn’t seem possible to have a thread discussing crimes committed in the US without at least one person gleefully pointing out that the US prison system is so broken inmates can be raped by guards/fellow inmates with impunity?

  25. says

    I have a little discussion of how abuse of pregnant women might have evolved as a mechanism to epigenetically program the developing fetus with a more robust “stress invoked phenotype”. Sort of along the lines of “the best defense is a strong offense”, and when ever times were really “tough”, who ever lashes out with violence first may have had an advantage.

    In other words, an evolutionary rationale for the (well observed) cycle of violence.

    But be warned, I have gotten flack from this idea, and if you want to flame me about it, do so on my blog, not here.

  26. George Cauldron says

    ‘Porcine’ is the word that comes to mind.

    If you see Klaudt’s Wikipedia page, it says this:

    While in office, he co-sponsored several bills that took aim at sex offenders, including “community safety zones” where sex offenders are not allowed to reside or enter zones within 500 feet of schools, public parks and swimming pools. He also co-sponsored the bill that required South Dakota to be included in the National Sex Offender Registry, a bill that requires the Department of Social Services to inform parents about abuse or neglect involving their child who is under the state’s care, and a (defeated) bill that would have prohibited the distribution of contraceptives to high school students.

    Ironic that Ted will now be subject to all the laws concerning sexual predators which he helped implement.

  27. John Emerson says

    If, God forbid, the guy decides to hang himself for shame, he looks like he should get a nice thick rope and tie it to a very sturdy branch.

  28. says

    If I remember right, Janklow claimed that the motorcycle death was due to his driving while hypoglygemic. He had been campaigning all day and didn’t eat enough. His campaign backed up his story (but oddly enough, had not insisted on Janklow either eating enough to maintain his blood sugar or on taking the keys from Janklow.

    Janklow had declared as governor during the Wounded Knee standoff that the way to end it was to just to “put a bullet in their heads.”

    This Klaudt guy – ulgkk. It may be me being a pervert of a different sort (involving consenting adults of the female gender, I assure you); but I really don’t even understand how this even excites people. I can’t even bring myself to imagine the procedures he carried out on these girls, almost as if he were a bovine veterinarian. Isn’t that how he was treating them?

  29. Kseniya says

    Mike, spare yourself the unpleasantness. There is no need to imagine, nor to draw parallels to, the things he did. There were no “procedures.” He is an accused rapist, child molester and stalker, and the worst kind of contemptible, manipulative liar. Keep it simple, man.

    I think Janklow was state Attorney General when the Wounded Knee thing happened. It warms the heart to know that a government official sworn to uphold the law would advocate assassination as a solution to human rights protests, and that he’d win long-lasting support from the state’s voters for doing so.

    The South Dakota State Greeting is “How Kola!” meaning “Hello, Friend.” Yes, it’s Lakotan.

    Janklow. Napolie. Klaudt. No wonder the honey bees are dying.

  30. kilgoretrout says

    how cheap, almost disgusting

    Q: Pol Pot and Stalin were atheists
    A: How stupid you are


    Q: He is a child molester AND he is a republican
    A: That is real evidence


    Q: He is a child molester AND he does not believe in evolution
    A: Oh my god, i give up my faith

    …evidence blah blah blah science blah blah blah wait here is a republican who abused children that must be evidence for something…

  31. SD Native says

    Re: #5:

    There are dumb people everywhere. I grew up in SD, and moved “out east” for grad school. As someone who deals with a number of undergrad and medical on a regular basis, I can solidly assure you that SD does not have a monopoly on “dumb” people. NY (especially Manhattan, where everyone is “oh so cultured”) has more than its fair share of clueless folks (and I ain’t talking about the tourists). The one thing I can say is that most folks in SD will be quite courteous to you (if you’re courteous to them), even if they disagree with you. That I *do* miss about SD (even if there are other things I don’t!).

    And, most of the people with whom I went to college back in SD had a far better grasp of birth control than the folks you mention. I suspect their move out to California did my home state a major favor.

    Re: #25: Your attitude will not do anything to change all of these perceived problems you see with SD. If you hate it so much, either work constructively to change it or move out. Patronizing people will *not* do anything to help. South Dakotans put up with enough of that crap as it is.

    As for Klaudt, sounds like a major creep. Good riddance.

  32. Wyatt says

    I definitely do not like SD Conservatives, they are all smarmy and disgusting. I’m proud to say, I’ve voted Dem in every SD election and have campainged for many Democrats. I’m not saying there may be good South Dakota Republicans, but there certainly aren’t any in Minnehaha County. Thune is a Rep lap dog, whose interests have always gone towards whoever payed him enough money (Lobbying for Sioux Valley, AKA Sanford Medicine) I’m proud to say that my family is similar, my Grandpa actually punched Janklow when he was in the SD Legislature

  33. Cornelius J. McHugh says

    I’ll bet this prime example of human garbage:
    (1)Is a staunch creationist.
    (2)Doesn’t believe that humans contribute to global warming.
    (3)Would like to see the Endangered Species Act abolished.
    (4)Is a paid-up card-carrying member of the NRA.
    (5)Is racist.
    (6)Is homophobic.
    In short a good ole Ree-publican boy.