SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — During the time it takes to introduce this investigative report, 20 people will be victims of violence by an intimate partner in the U.S. While October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, victims still struggle to get the rights they are guaranteed by law. Our recent KELOLAND News Investigations have exposed flaws in the court system resulting in Marsy’s Law violations.
Now another victim has come forward, not only to share shocking evidence of abuse, but also how cases like hers can fall through the cracks in the system.
Nicole Friedman didn’t expect her relationship with Logan McPadden to end in violence. No victim does.
The couple met on a dating app. Both have children and parenting brought them together.
“He was really good with my kids, my nephews that I’m adopting, so it made me attach to him faster,” Friedman said.
Soon, Friedman and McPadden were expecting a child of their own.
She says the second time he abused her; she was pregnant.
“He comes over and runs into my house and tackles me on my bed and just starts shouldering me on my head,” Friedman said.
Friedman set up a camera in her bedroom which captured numerous incidents of violence. She says McPadden knew about the camera.
Once their child was born, even holding their baby didn’t stop him from becoming physically aggressive.
Angela Kennecke: Did you know that was unacceptable?
Kennecke: He shoved ice cream in your face.
Friedman: I guess I couldn’t stop him. It didn’t matter who was around. He didn’t care that she was right there. He could have hurt her.
Friedman says she called police several times and even with McPadden facing misdemeanor assault charges, the abuse continued.
“I felt stuck, and I don’t know, I felt scared because he wouldn’t let me leave him. He would come banging on my window and he would tell me he’s not going to let me leave him,” Friedman said.
“Once they have maintained or established that power and control the victim doesn’t feel like they are able to leave. And if they do leave, we know statistically that is the most dangerous time for the victim because the offender is losing control. That is actually when most victims of violence are seriously injured or killed.”Krista Hereen-Graber, of the SD Network Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault
Friedman says it was that very threat that finally prompted her to leave.
Friedman: He grabbed me by my neck and told me that I was going to make him kill me one day.
Kennecke: When he said that, what went through your mind?
Friedman: That he would.
Friedman’s video evidence led prosecutors to charge McPadden with a felony for violating a no-contact order, domestic assault, and child abuse, to which he pleaded guilty. McPadden received a two-year suspended prison sentence and was placed on electronic monitoring. Friedman says he violated the no-contact order again by having a friend contact her about custody of their daughter.
She says it was the lack of action on that violation that prompted her to post these videos on Facebook.
Kennecke: Why are you showing it?
Friedman: Right now because I’m frustrated with how the state is not helping me with it. It took three months for them to even do anything about him violating the no contact.
Kennecke: What’s the problem with it taking three months?
Friedman: That he could have easily come and hurt me.
“It didn’t get acted on the way it should have,” Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman said.
Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman isn’t shying away from questions about this case. He says a contributing factor is that Lincoln County has seen about an 80 percent increase in criminal cases over this time last year.
“We’re task saturated here and in this particular case, based upon when the report came on or came in and the questions that surrounded it; the officer had–it took longer and it shouldn’t have. But we acted on it. The defendant is serving a sentence; so, in effect, we knew where he was. There hadn’t been any other alleged assaults or other contacts. So, once we got it into place, we acted on it,” Wollman said.
“Ideally they should respond immediately and there should be consequences. But unfortunately, sometimes protection violations are misdemeanors and it’s not even certain that the respondent in the protection order is going to spend any time in jail,” Hareen-Graber said.
McPadden is now facing a recent charge of violating a no-contact order. The judge in the case will also determine if he violated the terms of his suspended sentence.
“I think he needs to go to jail. I don’t think he’s going to realize what he’s doing until he goes to jail,” Friedman said.
“There are a lot of cracks in the system. It’s important we talk about those cracks, so we do everything we can to fix them. It’s important we recognize that they are the victim of a crime, that they have rights and that needs to be a priority in our society,” Hereen-Graber said.
Friedman and McPadden are now involved in a custody dispute over their one-year-old daughter. The South Dakota Victims Unite Rally, addressing the lack of enforcement of Mary’s Law for victims and failures in the state’s victim notification system, will be held at the courthouses in Sioux Falls and Rapid City at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
We contacted attorneys who have represented McPadden to give him a chance to comment on this story. However, the custody attorney told us it was a criminal matter and the attorney from his criminal case says he is no longer representing him.