State looks to move forward with Tilsen prosecution

Nick Tilsen
Nick Tilsen
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 1:10 PM CDT
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The Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office responds to Nick Tilsen’s request to have the case against him dismissed. Tilsen is facing three felony counts, second degree robbery and simple assault on law enforcement, following a standoff near Mount Rushmore during President Trump’s visit for the Independence Day Fireworks in 2020.

The response filed with the court by the state says no formal agreement was ever reached for Tilsen to enter that diversion program instead of being prosecuted. The state says participation in the diversion program requires the defendant to accept responsibility for the crime they committed and explain the reason why they committed the crime. They say before Tilsen was fully accepted into the program, it became clear he was unwilling to meet those requirements. Tilsen’s motion claimed those requirements were added after they reached an agreement. Now, the State’s Attorney’s Office again wants to prosecute the case in court. Tilsen pleaded not guilty to the charges back in September.

Tilsen’s motion to have the charges dismissed claims his constitutional rights were violated when he says the state reneged on its agreement to dismiss the charges in exchange for Tilsen going into a diversion program when he used his First Amendment rights in speaking to local media about the case. He claims selective and vindictive prosecution.

The state’s response also denies Tilsen’s claim that his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial is being violated, saying any delay is due to Tilsen’s motions filed with the court.