The Mette Scandal: Summary Of The Shocking Cover-Up

The Mette Scandal: Summary Of The Shocking Cover-Up

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 KM 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.

Nearly 700 Native American children in South Dakota are being removed from their homes every year, sometimes under questionable circumstances. An NPR News investigation has found that the state is largely failing to place them according to the law.

The combination of the NPR exposé and Schwab’s conflict of interest revelation created an immediate pushback from Dorsett, working in concert top law enforcement officials in South Dakota at the direction of Attorney General Marty Jackley.

Within days;

  • A secret plea deal was made to drop all charges against Wendy Mette, despite Dorsett being told on November 2nd that KM said that Wendy Mette knew about the abuse. (November 3rd)
  • AG Marty Jackley gave the order that investigating Schwab and Taliaferro for witness tampering was the ‘top priority’ of Division of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Black. (November 3rd)
  • Black removed the Mette girls from school and interrogated them in the basement of the DCI office. The girl’s lawyer was not present and permission to remove the girls was given by the DSS. (November 4th)
  • Dorsett wrote an affidavit containing information she knew to be false and had DCI Agent Black sign and submit it in an ex partè hearing to remove Schwab from the Mette case. (November 5th)
  • The home and office of Taliaferro and Schwab were raided and their computers seized. (November 7th)
  • Despite a court order, Agent Black went to the home of an older sister who was taking care of the Mette girls. (December 7th)

South Dakota State’s attorney Micheal Moore officially dropped all charges against Wendy Mette and dropped 22 of the 23 charges against Richard Mette, who was given a 15 year sentence for years of taxpayer subsidized rape and torture of his adoptive daughters. The girls were ordered to be sent back to live with Wendy Mette, which ended any lawsuit against the State or the DSS.

Schwab and Taliaferro were arrested and charged with witness tampering and subornation of perjury. They faced forty years in prison.

When the trial eventually happened, the state’s case against Taliaferro & Schwab was so weak that the Judge took the almost unheard of step of stopping the trial halfway through after the prosecution rested. Two charges had been dismissed by the state, and the Judge threw out the rest.

That didn’t end the nightmare for Schwab and Taliaferro, however, who had lost their livelihoods and racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills. Taliaferro was unable to get the dismissed charges expunged from his record because South Dakota law requires consent of the prosecutor.

31 Comments

  1. This dude and his wife need to be put into a deep dark hole and play the game “beat up or blow job”.. i would bea tthis fucker till my hands were cripple.

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  2. so, where was the indian child welfare? shouldnt, they been involved? this, makes me sick to my stomach because, this man thought he could violate these native children and get away with it.

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  3. The parents need the same treatment in prison

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  4. You are fucken kidding me. Wake up, stop hiring pedophiles to care for vulnerable children. DSS is guilty as the Mettes.

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    • Soooo tru my 4 grandchildren r in care of dss an foster care an i worry about them everyday that this never happens!!!!!

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    • So true some ppl just dont give a fuk now a days which is sick .. at that im sure they all had something to do wit it smh

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  5. Marty Jackley in my humble opinion as one of his victims is, this guys as crooked as they come.

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  6. All of you sick, demented, pedophiles, and pedophile helpers, need to be prosecuted and thrown in jail hopefully beneath it! What a bunch of disgusting inbreds you all are to allow and cover up such a despicable, horrid family! You are just as guilty as he is and even more so because you knew about it and did everything you could to cover it up and protect them. Makes me wonder what you all have been doing with your own children to have allowed this to go on for years. Shame on all of you and anyone else that was involved or knew about these despicable acts. You are brought to light now you monstrosities of mankind! Shame on you, shame on you well into eternity

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    • I can’t believe someone would even do that to a child they both will get what they deserve in the end. And how do children go on with their lives after that. I don’t understand

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  7. That’s. Sad. . Omg if only the system who adopted that girl would of made more check ‘s and investigation of home and the lit girl wouldn’t of had to insure that pain

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  8. I am in complete shock

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  9. That dudes in Springfield prison as of now sick SOB

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    • GOOD NOW HE’LL B SOMEONES LIL BITCH IN THERE GOD HAVE MERCY ON UR SOUL U DISGUSTING MOFO!!!!! JUSTICE FOR THE METTE CHILDREN

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      • Naw, the prison he is in is like a hotel… That is where they put most of the Choms in this state. He has it way to easy where he is at. He belongs in the high security prison in Sioux Falls, SD, not to where he is able to be up and walking around, playing cards, going outside and enjoying his lil pathetic life..

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  10. Thank you Lee for bringing this to our attention. Thank you for doing the background work to get this information out into the pubic arena; it is exposures like yours that will assist the public in knowing what their state government is doing with their tax dollars: allowing corrup0tion to fester and grow into heinous acts of abuse toward it’s citizens, and it’s citizens children.
    That our precious Native American people are used and abused is a shame on the administration of, not only our State, but by the nation at large. This must stop. I pray that our People will stop and realize what is going on in Pierre, and that they can STOP IT, if they choose to get involved.

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  11. What a sick bastard.

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  12. I do not care if they are purple, blue, green or red, you never hurt a child. I hope the adults have done to them what they did to those kids.;

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  13. In most states this would end the A Gs job and his run for Governor
    But this is S D.
    Fellow Republicans what say YOU?

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  14. Unbelievable. My heart aches for these little girls.Praying for them…..

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  15. DSS DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT NATIVE BABIES JUST TAKE THEM AWAY AND LET THIS SHIT HAPPEN AND TURN THEIR HEADS FUCKIN DISGUSTING

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  16. Fricking gross! Who is there to protect those children? Does DSS think Wendy is not taking her anger out on those girls? They have no chance!

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  17. Not only were the girls abused by the “system” and the Foster Dad, but the reputation of the only two people who cared for these girls, has been destroyed! The Attorney Generals office is as CROOKED

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  18. i am just so sick as to what these children had to go threw, i hope if they are in jail some kind prisoner takes it upon themselves to bring this joy to them also. a child cant protect themselves its up to us to do that not hurt them, i pray god will see fit they are in prison for a long time.

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  19. Are those children still with Wendy Mette? How old are they? I need to know if there are victims still at risk. Other than that, pfffft, more of the same in South Dakota government.

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  20. Follow the money trail

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  21. Prison is too good for these fucks… I say to the people that closed their eyes and hearts to what was going on…. lets play beat up or blow job with them

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  22. Attention pedophiles, it’s ok to sexually abuse children but no spanking!

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  23. I’m from SD, live on a reservation and I believe I’m law abiding because, in case you don’t know, as a Lakota person, we have three sets of law to follow, tribal, state and federal. The laws here in SD are set up so we Lakota don’t have a leg to stand on, so when white people get a chance to hurt us, they know the law is on their side. So many of our children and families have to use DSS, even though our treaties state in black and white that we do not answer to state laws on our own lands. But yet we have a state office right here on our reservation. I’m sad the girls have to endure what these people did to them for the rest of their lives. Many of us Native Americans suffer from oppression and depression, we need massive counseling, its our only way to cope with all of the abuse we suffer from almost on a daily basis. I’m sure this is not the only case that was almost covered up, we have a lot of unsolved murders on Natives, so you can see how unjust of a state I live in. Just look at the beer spilling case, the man only got disorderly conduct and a $500 fine, if it was the other way around, the Native would have been prosecuted with very serious charges. The Cowbell lawsuit only justified what many Natives believe, we own the US, our money made this country but yet we are the most underprivileged, the most forgotten and the most abused. Can anyone tell this Lakota person why? Because I was raised to love all living things, its our cultural belief. Thanks Lee , for letting me share my opinion.

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  24. those poor babies need to get a bit older and make there own case agaist those pedifiles and hopefull the state is made to pay theses children for there lack of responability to them . I was raped as a child and it is still with me today 55 years after the facts I feel those childrens pain and pray some laywer picks up there case probono and gets thenm the justice they need just to clean there heads of the sick people that was in control of them. it make my cry deep inside when I read a sad story of an inicent little child being hurt like this and the law turns a blind eye to them 🙁 :(:(

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  25. The life’s of these children have been ruined becuse of the system that was supposed to protect them.iam so sickened I want to vomit what a fn piece of nothing that well burn for eternity I can’t wait.justice for the mette children, we need to protect all children in the system, what is wrong with DSS wake up do your job, look what you did..!!!!!!your fault!!!!!!!!!

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