FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2022
CONTACT: Stewart Huntington, 605-773-6878
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Mark Vargo announced today that Kenden Ronald Rivenes was sentenced on Friday to the South Dakota State Penitentiary after he pleaded guilty in cases involving Sully County rape and attempted rape charges.
On June 7, 2022, Rivenes pleaded guilty to Rape in the 3rd Degree for crimes that occurred on Jan. 5, 2020. He also pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault for crimes that occurred on October 9, 2021. Rivenes had faced two 2nd Degree Rape charges for crimes that occurred on Jan. 5, 2020, and Rape in the 2nd Degree and Attempted Rape in the 2nd degree charges stemming from the October 9, 2021, crimes. After his guilty pleas he had faced a maximum of 40 years in the penitentiary.
On Friday, September 30, 2022, Rivenes was sentenced to 25 years in the Penitentiary on the Rape conviction with 14 years of that sentence suspended. Rivenes was also sentenced to 15 years in the Penitentiary with 10 years of that suspended on the Aggravated Assault conviction. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently by Circuit Court Judge Christina L. Klinger.
“When someone is raped, they receive a life sentence. They struggle with what happened to them for the rest of their lives,” said Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Zachrison, who handled the prosecution. “In these cases, the victims chose to speak out against their perpetrator. Not every person can. I want to thank these victims and their families for their help putting Mr. Rivenes in prison out of our communities for a long time.”
After two years of court hearings and speaking with the victims, the plea agreement was reached.
These crimes were investigated by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Sully County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by the South Dakota Attorney General’s office.