SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The American Legion Department of South Dakota is responding to allegations against 9 Mitchell baseball players.
As we first told you on Thursday, 6 members of the Post 18 varsity legion baseball team face rape charges. Three juveniles are also accused in the case.
On Friday, just before noon, KELOLAND News Received a statement from the American Legion saying quote, “The allegations are very disturbing and are not in keeping with the traditions and the core purposes of American Legion Baseball.
The Mitchell School District says it is not involved with investigation into the Legion baseball team even though some of the players attend the Mitchell school.
Mitchell School District Superintendent Joe Childs told KELOLAND News the school district is “presently not engaged in an investigation regarding this matter.”
“I am unable to disclose any personally identifiable student information,” Childs said in an emailed statement.
Read the full statement:
American Legion youth programs are designed to encourage safe interaction between staff, volunteers, and children/youth. Parents and families trust American Legion programs to provide a safe and healthy environment for all participants. The American Legion does not tolerate abuse in any form, whether it is physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, or economic exploitation.
We are aware of the indictment and of the continuing investigation surrounding the Mitchell Baseball Association and we are awaiting the results.
The allegations are very disturbing and are not in keeping with the traditions and the core purposes of American Legion Baseball “To instill in the nation’s youth a sincere desire to develop within themselves a feeling of citizenship, sportsmanship, loyalty and team spirit.”
The team’s season has been canceled and upon legal determination in the courts we will assess the American Legion’s continued affiliation and sponsorship of the Mitchell Baseball Association.
The American Legion Department of South Dakota is proud to have served as the first home to American Legion baseball. All who participate in our program are expected to uphold the American Legion Baseball Code of Sportsmanship and those who violate these common principles are never tolerated nor allowed to remain within our program.
Friday afternoon, the president of the Mitchell Baseball Association Jason Christensen shared this statement with KELOLAND News:
The Mitchell Baseball Board of Directors is deeply saddened and disappointed to learn of the results in the recent investigation into alleged player misconduct. Based on the seasons for the youth teams being complete, the Board will take time to determine the appropriate path for the future of Mitchell baseball. It is hoped that the alleged actions by a few does not reflect negatively on the entire Mitchell Baseball Program which stresses strong character traits equally with baseball skills through its members and coaches. The Board will trust the legal process and will have no further comment on the legal proceedings.