NEW: Codington County judge grants motion to dismiss charges against alleged child rapist

May 9, 2024

Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A man facing two life sentences in Codington County for raping a child under the age of 13 has had all charges against him dismissed because his case languished for more than two years without a trial, in violation of his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Thomas Davison, who was represented by Don McCarty, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of First Degree Rape on February 14, 2022 based on conduct that was alleged to have occurred between October 2020 and March 2021.

Codington County State’s Attorney Becky Morlock-Reeves was the lead prosecutor on the case, but there’s no record of any jury trial for Davison ever being scheduled.

On Wednesday, Judge Carmean Means granted a motion to dismiss the case, allowing Davison to walk away a free man despite facing the most serious rape charge on South Dakota’s criminal books.

Court documents show 792 days had passed from Davison’s first court appearance until the motion to dismiss charges, which was filed on March 26th of this year, was granted.

Morlock-Reeves office never requested a continuance for missing discovery, or made any good cause for delay, and there were no delays due to Davison’s unavailibility.

Morlock-Reeves has been Codington County State’s Attorney since 2017, and is running for re-election in the June 4th primary against her former Deputy State’s Attorney, Alison Bakken.

Bakken issued a statement on social media that reads, “this is why I’m running. These things should not be allowed to happen. It’s time for transparency and accountability for our community.”