SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Within the era of the ‘#MeToo’ movement, millions of women across the world have been sharing their experiences of sexual abuse, rape or sexual harassment. The roots of that movement only go back to 2006. Before that, it was less common for women to publicly discuss sexual violence they’ve experienced.
A Sioux Falls woman, Dawn Aspaas, was one of the first in the region to openly talk and be interviewed about being raped in 1990. In tonight’s KELOLAND Investigates, we talk to Aspaas about her bravery 34 years ago — but first, we’re looking back at the disturbing case.
It was October 1989 when Dawn Aspaas, whose last name was then Gaspar, and her young daughter were at home having a girls’ night. The evening turned to terror when two men snuck in through a basement window.
The two men — Levi Flute and David Arapahoe — raped and beat Aspaas while holding her young daughter at knifepoint. After hours of torture, they forced her and her daughter to drive them to an ATM.
KELOLAND’s Jay Trobec was a reporter at the time and was assigned to cover the case. Here’s a look back at Flute’s sentencing in 1990:
Arapahoe was sentenced to 25 years, and let out on parole after 9 years. Today, the Department of Corrections has him listed as a parole absconder. Levi Flute is still behind bars after being denied parole last month.
In tonight’s KELOLAND’s Investigates, we sit down with Dawn Aspaas and her daughter to discuss the bravery she had 34 years ago when standing up to her offenders and speaking out about the crime.