Testimony Continues In Ron Neels Rape Trial

Rural Garretson man accused of raping adopted daughter for more than a decade

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An emotionless Ron Neels sat in court Wednesday as jurors heard testimony for a second day. The rural Garretson man is accused of raping his adopted daughter for more than a decade.

Neels wore headphones and sat with his attorneys. When his family members took the stand, he seemed unmoved by their testimony.

Emotions were high as testimony continued for a second day. In late November 2014, Neels entered a non-guilty plea to the 16 felony counts, including molestation and incest.

Jurors then saw multiple text messages between the two that the defense implied that the encounters were more consensual in early 2014.

The defense then showed text messages between the two that they say imply that their encounters were consensual.

In her testimony, the victim claimed her short term memory was weak following a car 2008 accident. The prosecution fired back saying that while her short term memory may be weak, her long-term memory was still strong.

Testimony heightened when the mother took the stand. When questioned about Mr. Neel’s relationship with her daughter she claimed it had always been hostile and strained.

At the time, she had not thought anything of it, and believed it to be him being an overprotective father. However, when the prosecution asked her on her thoughts now, she believes he was “being a jealous boyfriend.”

Testimony ended Wednesday with jurors watching the interview between Neels and Sgt. Mike Walsh of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office.

Testimony is expected to continue Thursday.