This story has been updated with information from Goss’s court appearance today and statement from his lawyer.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Austin Goss, a former reporter for Dakota News Now and KOTA, pleaded guilty to using Gov. Kristi Noem’s personal cell phone number to make a prank call in January, according to Zach Nelson of KCCR Radio in Pierre.
Goss was in court in Stanley County today where he pleaded guilty to a lesser class 2 misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. The original charge of making threatening, harassing or misleading contacts, a class I misdemeanor was dismissed.
The original complaint had been amended today with the disorderly conduct charge.
Goss was given a suspended imposition of sentence. He received a suspended 30 day jail sentence, one year of probation and fine of $500, according to KCCR Radio.
Goss’ lawyer Jason A. Glodt said in a statement that his client would not have a conviction on his record because the sentence was suspended.
Goss used Noem’s personal cell phone number to make a prank call to former South Dakota Republican legislator and former leader of the GOP in the state Dan Lederman on Jan. 22.
Glodt said there should not have been a charge in the prank but he appreciated the willingness of the state’s attorney to reduce the charge to disorderly conduct. “The crime of disorderly conduct is on the same level as a speeding ticket,” Glodt said in his statement.
Court documents said Goss used the website called PrankDial.com to make the prank call. Court documents said that Goss had numerous personal and professional communications with Noem and that it was “reasonable that (Goss) may have come in possession of Governor Noem’s personal phone number during one of these contacts.”
Glodt described the prank as an intended practical joke between Goss and a friend.
Goss apologized in court to Noem and to the target of his prank call as well as his family and law enforcement, KCCR said.
On Jan. 23, Noem said in a news release that her personal cell phone had been “hacked” and was used to make hoax calls. Noem said in her new release that her personal cell phone had been “hacked”, following “the leak of (she) and her family’s personal Social Security numbers and other private information by the January 6th Committee.”
In that same news release, Noem urged U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and multiple congressional committees to investigate leaks of information relating to her family. “I look forward to whatever resolution they can provide,” she said in the release.