THE METTE RAPE CASE: “A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT EXISTS IN THE AMERICAN STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA”
I was in the offices early here this morning arriving a little before six o’clock. Sitting in my office waiting for me when I got there were three officers and the Director of Counter-Theocracy of the Laal Hethri, Thaantu Beobrai. “You have a problem,” he said. I sat down at my desk lit a Gitanes and reached into the bottom drawer for my pint of Woodford Reserve and replied, “What have I done now?”
“This isn’t about some transgression you have done this is about what you and most of the media on Terra have failed to do. And you will fix it starting this instant,” Beobrai snarled. He produced a folder from somewhere and threw it on my desk. i opened it and it revealed a case that vaguely recalled from 2007.
“We covered this case eight years ago. Ted Klaudt’s in jail stories got a lot of hits Justice was served what’s this got to do with anything now?”
The taller female Laal Hethri officer, a member of the Special Branch of Urine Dowsers, spoke up, “You scanned the document, you did not read it. This is a different case. Do your fucking job.”
“Alright, relax.” I took the time to real the names. She was right this was a different case the timelines sort of overlapped and it did take place in South Dakota. This case of abuse was far greater in scope and had some twists and turns in it that made a knot build in my stomach. Halfway through the documents I looked up at Beobrai and asked, “How do I fix this?”
Thaantu stood up and fluttered his wings briefly, “An injustice has been done, a horrible injustice. I hear you have printing presses and computers here, yes? Use them to level the playing field. Those girls were muted by the government of South Dakota and it’s officers; I want you to unmute them. Be their voice as this newspaper has been the voice of the silenced on Terra many times before. But be warned the people who are at the heart of this case will not simply go quietly. There will be much collateral damage once the truth comes out, however, I have the utmost confidence in you Schwartz. You’ve never let us down in the past.”
And with that the cops were gone and I called a meeting of my research staff. By seven, I was reading Cavalor in on all the details I had learned about Richard Mette, Gwendolyn Mette, Kim Dorsett, and South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley. We discussed the potential routes we could take in reporting on this story with a keen eye on having to have the facts before we proceed and then laying those facts out for the Living. “This isn’t a political gotcha story,” Cavalor said leaning back in his chair. “What appears to be a gross cover up here is likely for personal not political reasons. The parties involved here were concerned about careers and profits not people or policy.”
I asked The Boss, “So who should write this article?”
Cavalor leaned forward thinking, “It is a crime story and it does have a political angle but in the end it’s a story about people who have lost their childhoods, their innocence, at the hands of not only two odious Souls, but also the state organs that are supposed to protect them. It is your story Fred. Go and write it.”
So here I sit fifty one minutes later with my head and desk filled with facts about to tell you a story that is both horrifying and in the end hopeful.
The state of South Dakota has had its share of problems in regard to how the Department of Social Services [DSS] operates over the past twenty years. To say that SD DSS was aggressive in protecting their bureaucratic fiefdom within the state government would be an understatement. Several whistleblowers have come forward over the past two decades and most often they became victims of DSS. In one case, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney named Robert Doody after hearing the NPR segment on Native American children in foster care began seeking clients to sue the state for their abuse of power and other charges. Doody’s own child was taken from him by DSS for his trouble.
The Mette case revolves around the abuse of girls placed in the care of Richard and Gwendolyn in the late 1999. Twice members from DSS went to the Mette home to check on the welfare of the children and nothing was done. The girls were abused horribly over a period of several years. The details are outlined by Lee Stranahan, who used to be a writer for Breitbart.com, below:
For years, 6’9” 310 pound Richard Mette raped & tortured his adopted Lakota Indian daughters at the home he shared with his wife Wendy Mette in the town of Aberdeen, South Dakota.
After Richard Mette was arrested in 2010 authorities learned he assaulted Katrina Mette nearly whenever they were alone from the time she was eight years old, sometimes forcing her to play a game he called “Beating or Blow Job.” The police found a huge collection of pornography including titles like “Family Lust” in Richard & Wendy’s bedroom. In the open, public area of the house they found a large set of “Sex Dice” with the pictures of of body parts on one die and words like kiss, suck or caress on the other.
Richard Mette would be charged with 23 counts of rape of child under ten years old and related charges. Wendy Mette would also be arrested and charged with 11 counts of abuse or cruelty to a minor.
The abuse could have been stopped earlier. The South Dakota Department of Social Services investigated the Mettes twice before the 2010 arrests; once in 2001 and another time in 2007, when Richard was sexually assaulting his daughter constantly. In both investigations, the police and DSS found evidence of inappropriate touching and physical abuse but left the children in the home and allowed the Mettes to continue in the foster parent program with a warning to stop spanking the children.
After the 2001 case, the Mettes were allowed the adopt the foster daughters that Richard would go on to assault.
In the 2007 case, State’s Attorney Kim Dorsett failed to file any charges, despite the fact that the Mette daughters told police that Wendy Mette had been told that Richard Mette was assaulting them.
After the 2010 arrest, the rape and abuse cases against the Mettes were spearheaded by a young Assistant State’s Attorney named Brandon Taliaferro and a children’s advocate named Shirley Schwab. Both Taliaferro and Schwab clashed with the DSS, who were trying to reunite with girls with Wendy.
But a few months into the case, a stunning turnaround happened.
After a June 1st, 2011 hearing where it was announced that a lawsuit against the DSS on behalf of the Mette Girls was in the works, Taliaferro was removed from the Mette case. In September 2011, under a direct order from South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, Brandon Taliaferro was fired from his position as an Assistant State’s Attorney.
Schwab contented to work on the case. On October 31st, 2011 she filed a court report that included evidence that State’s Attorney Dorsett had a lucrative side contract with the Department of Social Service that prohibited her or her private law firm from doing anything “in opposition to the interests of the state of South Dakota or any of its departments.”
That motion exposing the conflict of interest by Kim Dorsett happened to come just days after NPR ran a three part story by journalist Laura Sullivan called Lost Children, Shattered Families that put a national spotlight on South Dakota.
So that’s the story in a nutshell. Brought to Light will be having a press conference in about an hour in Washington, DC. Across the street from this press conference on the Mette case and the cover up South Dakota AG Marty Jackley will be presiding over the National Associations of Attorneys General as its President-Elect. I wonder if any of the well heeled men and women in this conference will even care that this man and others worked so diligently to keep a child abuser out of prison and reduce the amount of time another would serve after intimidating witnesses, victims and those charged with protecting the girls?
Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
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