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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Attorney General Jackley Announces Former State Correctional Officer Convicted Of Simple Assault

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Aug. 18, 2023

Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that Joshua Westenkirchner of Harrisburg, S.D., has been convicted of two counts of simple assault of a prison inmate while serving as a correctional officer at the state prison in Sioux Falls.

A Minnehaha County jury this week reached its verdict after a two-day trial. He was found not guilty of another count of simple assault and one count of aggravated assault.

“The conduct in this case should not and has not been tolerated. It is an isolated incident of one individual that should not reflect on those correctional officers that serve their positions with respect,” said Attorney General Jackley. “I want to thank the investigators, Assistant Attorney Generals, and the jurors for their important work in serving justice in this matter.”

Officials say the incident occurred March 14 and 15, 2022. Westenkirchner, 42, was indicted by a Minnehaha Grand Jury on Dec. 22, 2022.

The State Division of Criminal Investigation investigated the incident. Prosecution of the case was handled by the Attorney General’s Office.