SD Supreme Court Upholds Conviction For Rape Of Dementia Patient

Sep 17, 2020

The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of Roger Jackson for third-degree rape.

Jackson was convicted in 2018 for having sex with a dementia patient housed in a care facility in Rapid City.

Jackson appealed that conviction to the state Supreme Court. At oral arguments in February, Jackson held that the state should have had to prove criminal intent, that he knew the woman's dementia rendered her unable to give consent.

His attorney argued that there are varying levels of dementia.

But Assistant Attorney General Sarah Larson points out the statute is clear.

"It is mental incapacity defined as the inability to understand the nature and effect of one's act," Larson tells justices. "The jury has the ability to view the facts of each case and make the determination themselves. They did so in this case."

Justices were unanimous in upholding Jackson's conviction.