UPDATE: Watertown man facing child sex crimes now charged in federal indictment

February 27, 2023
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A Watertown man charged with sex crimes against children is now facing federal charges, in addition to state charges that were filed earlier.

Codington County State’s Attorney Becky Morlock-Reeves tells KWAT News that 44 year-old Ted (T.J.) Hurkes has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury. She says she has not yet seen the indictment, but does say some of the state charges against Hurkes will likely be dropped in favor of federal charges, which carry stiffer penalties. Additionally, unlike state district court, there is no parole in the federal court system.

Morlock-Reeves also confirms Hurkes has been remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service, and is no longer being held in the Codington County Jail. She says he’s being held in a lockup facility in South Dakota, but would not specifically say where.

Hurkes was arrested at Watertown Regional Airport last month.

He’s charged at the state level with Possessing and Manufacturing child pornography, First Degree Rape of a child under the age of 13, Sexual Contact with a Child Under 16, and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

He pleaded not guilty to all state charges during a January 31st court appearance. A trial date of April 27th was set.