PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Supreme Court this week reversed half of former U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth’s convictions stemming from her unsuccessful 2014 Republican primary race.
The 45-year-old Sioux Falls physician said Thursday that she’s grateful, but said that she needs to speak with her attorney. Bosworth appealed after a jury in 2015 found her guilty of six felony counts each of perjury and filing false documents that she submitted to appear on the ballot.
The high court in a Wednesday ruling vacated the perjury convictions, but upheld her convictions for filing false candidate nominating petitions. Arguments in the case were held in November 2016.
“I’m so grateful that half of them are gone,” Bosworth said. “That’s a blessing.”
Bosworth said during the trial that she never intended to mislead anyone when she attested to signatures on campaign documents that she didn’t actually witness. She was out of the country on a medical mission trip at the time.
Bosworth argued at trial that the prosecution was politically motivated, but her defense attorneys largely relied on the argument that Bosworth knew little about the political process and received bad advice from a consultant, who denied that.
She avoided serving prison time when a judge handed down a suspended sentence provided she completed probation and 500 hours of community service. Bosworth said both are done.
The Supreme Court ruling says that the state failed to prove an element of the offense of perjury. But in upholding the other convictions, it says that a petition is false under state law when it contains a circulator’s verification signed by a different person than the circulator.
Attorney General Marty Jackley in a statement highlighted that the court affirmed Bosworth’s convictions for filing false petitions, saying that the decision protects the integrity of South Dakota’s elections and institutions.
“The decision affirms the hard work and deliberations of our citizen jurors in this case,” Jackley said.
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