Can a spouse be 'stolen'? - KOTA Territory News

Can a spouse be 'stolen'?


He's accused of stealing the affections of another man's wife.

For the past week, Pennington county State's Attorney Glenn Brenner and his wife Kellie have been facing some tough questions on the stand as part of an Alienation of affection lawsuit filed by Kellie Brenner's ex husband Doug Rumpca.

The civil case against Brenner is expected to wrap up Friday, after days of intimate details and family secrets were revealed.

"It's a waste of money, waste of time, could have other people in court for murder or something," said Derrek Olson, of Rapid City.
"If there was no love in the marriage, how can you say you threw love away that didn't exist," said Jeff Beschard of Rapid City.
The consequences of a marriage gone sour in South Dakota can sometimes result in your dirty laundry being aired out in the open.
"This lawsuit which has no merit has been injurious to the children and rest of family," said Senator Stan Adelstein, District 32.
As the Alienation of affection case against Brenner wraps up, lawmakers are considering striking the law that brings private struggles to a public arena.
"Is this something that should be coming before the courts? Spending money and attorney fees when it comes down to people's relationships with other people. People should have the right to choose which spouse they want to be with," said Senator Bruce Rampelberg, District 30.
Senator Adelstein, who is related to Brenner through marriage, is preparing for his third attempt to repeal the law.
"It assumes there's some value, monetary value on a woman's love. I'm old enough to know that isn't so," said Adelstein.
"The problem we have is there's a lot of mischief that could occur because of this bill. There could be accusations that aren't true," said Rampelberg.
And Brenner's 'punishment' could be based on his net worth.
"So apparently the affections stolen by a rich man are worth more than those stolen by a poor man," said Adelstein.
But in the end, both lawmakers say the bill does nothing to repair marriages or prevent divorce.

 "People in South Dakota view this as something that is one more tool to stop interactions that may occur to attract one spouse away from another. The problem is, nobody is going to win," said Rampelberg.

While he's still divided, Rampelberg says he does support keeping the law in place to protect marriage and family values.
Adelstein says he's already receiving support to repeal the alienation of affection law.
He says the Brenner case will help him prove that the law is damaging to families.

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