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Former SD Legislator Arrested On Sex Charges

May 18, 2007, 10:48 AM by Lou Raguse

Former SD Legislator Arrested On Sex Charges
Ted Klaudt

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. 

Former State Representative Ted Klaudt is accused of manipulating, molesting, intimidating and threatening teenage girls who the state of South Dakota paid him to raise. 

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)

The first victim to come forward told investigators Klaudt offered to earn her enough money to pay for college by helping her donate her eggs to a fertility clinic. She says Klaudt used a fake email address from the supposed clinic agent to trick her into letting him perform what's supposed to be a surgical procedure. 

The victims say Klaudt touched them while they were foster children at his home here in Walker. But the girls say the molestation also happened in Pierre during legislative sessions while some of them also served as pages.

Five different girls now say Klaudt did things ranging from manual "breast exams" to the painful procedure of actually going inside of them with a speculum and collecting body fluids. The girls say when they cried, Klaudt gave them a beer and told them to toughen up. 

Lou: Ted, do you deny the accusations? 
Klaudt: (no response)

He's not telling us anything. But when investigators questioned him in February. He admitted to much of what the girls allege, including sending messages from the fake email account. Klaudt told investigators the girls asked him to help them donate the eggs. But he admits never sending off a specimen.

Inside his home, investigators found Klaudt's briefcase filled with all the tools the girls say he used in his supposed "exams." 

The charges reflect alleged crimes against two of the five girls. The most serious of the crimes, 2nd degree rape, carries up to 50 years in prison. 

Friday, Klaudt's bail was set at $100,000 on the Hughes County charges. He was taken to jail, where he'll be held until he can make bail.

Below are links to the affidavit and warrant documents.

WARNING: The following may be very graphic and disturbing in nature.

Ted Klaudt Affidavit - [PDF] 

Hughes County Warrant - [PDF]

Corson County Warrant - [PDF]

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