Richard Seidel, the owner and manager of the large Bison Grain Company, located in Bison, South Dakota, was convicted two weeks ago of beating, choking, kidnapping and raping his wife and is in jail awaiting a sentence that could mean life in prison.
Bison is 145 miles of Rapid City.
Seidel, who turned 57 in June, had been free on $1 million cash bond on the charges laid in November 2017 by Perkins County State’s Attorney Shane Penfield based on a grand jury’s indictment.
Penfield initially charged Seidel — pronounced “SY-dul” — with attempted murder, but amended the charges soon after his arrest.
In a handwritten note seeking a protection order from the court in November 2017 after his arrest, the victim said Seidel had strangled and bound her, kidnapped and raped her, threatening her with a gun.
Court officials said someone facing $1 million cash-only bond is rare, much less someone making such a bail.
In November 2017, then-Attorney General Marty Jackley announced, with Penfield, the charges against Seidel, highlighting the serious nature of the case.
Penfield this week told the Capital Journal it had been a “daunting” case. He praised the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation and the Perkins County Sheriff’s Office for their work on the case.
Seidel’s victim had been his wife for about two decades and for years was an officer in the Bison Grain company.
She had filed for divorce not long before Seidel attacked her, court officers said.
His trial opened in Bison on July 23 and went to the jury on Friday, July 26.
His victim testified against Seidel at trial; he did not testify in his own defense.
Law officers from the sheriff’s office and from the state Division of Criminal Investigation testified.
After deliberating about three hours, the jury found Seidel guilty of four counts: kidnapping in the first degree in order to inflict injury or terrorize, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; of second degree rape using force, coercion or threats of great bodily harm, which carries a top sentence of 50 years; committing a felony while armed with a gun, with a 25-year maximum sentence; and aggravated assault/domestic violence in blocking her breathing and/or blood flow by blocking her nose and mouth and/or her throat, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
Seidel is in the Meade County Jail in Sturgis until his sentencing, slated for early November.
The Perkins County Jail in Bison isn’t set up to hold people for more than 72 hours, county officials said.
Seidel retained well-known Rapid City defense attorney Timothy Rensch, who declined to comment on the verdict to the Capital Journal. In November 2017, Rensch told the Capital Journal Seidel would plead not guilty and would defend his case “to the fullest extent of the law.”
Since his release on $1 million cash bail in 2017, Seidel remained in charge of Bison Grain, working while he was awaiting trial, court officials said.
Seidel has grown children from a previous marriage.
An employee at Bison Grain on Thursday said everything was running as always and the elevator was taking in newly harvested winter wheat.
According to an official at the state’s Public Utilities Commission, Bison Grain is a properly licensed grain warehouse.
Seidel remains the registered agent for Bison Grain in filings with the state Secretary of State’s office.
Seidel’s victim moved away after the attack.
The Capital Journal is not publishing her name.
Seidel’s father was a longtime leader in ranching and farming in Perkins County and became a director of Bison Grain in the mid-1960s, according to his obituary.
Richard Seidel has been president and owner of the grain and farm supply company for years, with his then-wife listed as vice-president and his mother as secretary of the corporation, according to filings with the secretary of state’s office.