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South Dakota Child Molestation Laws

Sex Offender Registry

South Dakota Sex Offender Search

Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect

South Dakota Codified Laws § 26-8A-3 sets forth a list of professionals who are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect (including sexual abuse) to authorities. The list includes medical and mental health care providers, teachers and school officials, employees or volunteers of child advocacy organizations, child welfare service providers, and law enforcement officers.

In addition, any person who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child younger than age 18 has been abused or neglected may report.

Reports must be made immediately. Failure to report is a misdemeanor.

Sexual Abuse and Exploitation

South Dakota Ann. Laws § 26-8A-2 provides that ‘abused or neglected child’ means a child:

  • Whose parent, guardian, or custodian has subjected the child to mistreatment or abuse
  • Who was subject to prenatal exposure to abusive use of alcohol, marijuana, any controlled drug, or a substance not lawfully prescribed by a practitioner
  • Who lacks proper parental care through the actions or omissions of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian
  • Whose environment is injurious to the child’s welfare
  • Whose parent, guardian, or custodian fails or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, supervision, education, medical care, or any other care necessary for the child’s health, guidance, or well-being
  • Who is homeless, without proper care, or not domiciled with the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian through no fault of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian
  • Whose parent, guardian, or custodian knowingly exposes the child to an environment that is being used for the manufacture, use, or distribution of methamphetamine or any other unlawfully manufactured controlled drug or substance

The term ‘abused or neglected child’ includes a child who is subject to sexual abuse, sexual molestation, or sexual exploitation by the child’s parent, guardian, custodian, or any other person responsible for the child’s care.

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